Uncovering the Past, Building a Better Future: The Importance of Truth and Reconciliation

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In July of 1764 near what the Anishinabek called “the crooked place” – Niagara Falls – Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for British North America, met with some 2500 Chiefs and headmen to create an alliance that would be key to they creation of Canada. – illustration by Charles Hebert
In July of 1764 near what the Anishinabek called “the crooked place” – Niagara Falls – Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for British North America, met with some 2500 Chiefs and headmen to create an alliance that would be key to they creation of Canada. – illustration by Charles Hebert

Opening a Path to Truth and Reconciliation Right Here, Right Now

Have you ever heard the statement, “We are all Treaty People”?

It is true. Canada on Turtle Island was not discovered by Europeans. There was a long history here of the First Peoples living here.

It was by treaties that agreements and understandings were reached.

Yet often, the actions of governments have been the opposite of the intent of those treaty agreements.

At the core of much of the problem is that ages old problem of racism.

Racism

Racism is a destructive and deeply harmful force that has plagued societies around the world for centuries.

It is a toxic ideology that seeks to divide people based on the color of their skin, ethnicity, or national origin, and it has caused immeasurable pain and suffering throughout history.

Thunder Bay, Dryden and Kenora, as communities seen the impact of racism.

On the NetNewsLedger Facebook Page on January 2, 2023, an individual made some offensive, hurtful and racist comments.

Those comments were directed at the mom of the first baby of 2023. When I went to remove the offensive post the comments were gone!

That person who made that post had been quickly taken to task by other readers, and removed those comments and appears to have deactivated their Facebook account.

What is encouraging, is out of all the comments, shares and likes that only one individual felt the need to be hateful.

Is Thunder Bay changing? I would say yes it is. Slowly at times, perhaps too slowly. But change is coming.

To me one of the over-riding reasons for racism is an unwillingness to learn or accept other cultures – and that represents a true human failure.

A failure that does not need to continue.

Despite the deeply entrenched nature of racism, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. There is hope for a more just and equal society, and every one of us has the power to play a role in overcoming racism.

One of the most effective ways to combat racism is through education. By learning about the history of racism and its many forms, we can gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand and the ways in which it continues to impact people’s lives.

This knowledge can serve as the foundation for meaningful action, whether it’s volunteering with organizations that work to promote racial justice, supporting businesses owned by people of color, or simply engaging in respectful and open-minded dialogue with others.

Another crucial aspect of overcoming racism is taking a stand against it whenever and wherever it arises. This can mean speaking out against hateful or discriminatory language, standing up for people who are being targeted because of their race, or supporting policies and initiatives that promote equality and justice.

 

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