This Reconciliation is for the Colonizer

This reconciliation is for the colonizer. 

This settler-colonial reconciliation branded by the government is artificially sweetened with handshake photo-ops and small pockets of money buying out silence on real issues.

The fad and conversation of reconciliation that our people are playing a role in is immobilizing “leadership” and converting indigenous peoples into colonially operated marionettes.

This type of reconciliation is a distraction. 

Instead of being idle no more, we are “reconciling some more” with present day Indian act agents whose hands are choking out our voices for land, water, and our children’s minds. 

This type of reconciliation is for the ones who want to be “friends” with the Indians for land commodification reasoning, for the ones who whisper the words “im sorry” as they watched the priests and nuns rape our children, for the ones who shut their eyes and turned away when genocide was bleeding into their forts, for the ones who defy Treaty daily- without remorse, and it’s for the ones who beat you, apologize, and beat your daughter and their daughters in the coming years.

This type of reconciliation is for the professors at universities who are pro-Trudeau and believe “decolonizing” universities looks like mandatory Indigenous studies classes yet those very same professors still belittle, marginalize, and see themselves better than, smarter than, and superior to every indigenous student in their classes, shaming them for their brown skin and indigenous minds.

This type of reconciliation is for the professionals in work-spaces who want to aid in repairing the settler-Indigenous relationship in their work places but when an Indigenous women brings her children into that space because her sitter didn’t show up that morning, the mother will be told that her children need to leave because they’re laughter doesn’t line up with colonial workplace standards.

This type of reconciliation helps elderly white woman carry their groceries to their vehicle, but later follows a single indigenous woman with 3 children in the store, aisle after aisle, under the suspicion that she will shoplift.

This type of reconciliation will have dollars for moccasin making and small “cultural” events, but those accounts will be “out of money” the moment those events begin to engage in conversations and action around indigenous liberation, sovereignty, and nationhood.

This type of reconciliation sponsors powwows through companies like Potash and Shell, hoping the 1000 first place special will buy out a few hundred acres of indigenous land more easily.

This type of reconciliation claims residential schools are over but maintains a superior and oppressive power dynamic between settler adults and indigenous children at its own convenience.

This type of reconciliation declares “no foul play” to the bodies of young indigenous youth found in the riverbanks in this country’s most racist cities but later claims they celebrate the lives of indigenous peoples.

This type of reconciliation organizes a national inquiry for missing and murdered indigenous women but neglects to do any actual work by configuring the timeframe to benefit the colonizer and showing that bringing justice to murdered indigenous women is something that can go on summer vacation.

This type of reconciliation invents a “new nation to nation relationship” and teaches our people that the only way we can access our treaty rights is if we have a status card, completely negating from the truth that we, as indigenous peoples, do not need a new “nation to nation relationship,” as ours is with the crown “as long as the sun shines, grass grows, and water flows,” and those status cards have nothing to do with our treaty rights.

This type of reconciliation was born by the colonizer’s TRC and will die on the very same shelves as those documents in the halls and walls of colonial buildings. For their benefit.

This type of reconciliation claims they are not racist but makes degrading comments about the braids on your sons and the skin of your daughters in public spaces.

This type of reconciliation will say it wants to bring justice to our women but is raping the very land our mothers were birthed on for generations. 

This type of reconciliation will say there are no funds for following through with Jordan’s principle, none for the lack of clean drinking water in communities, zero for decreasing the price of food in northern communities, and nothing for the mouldy housing and schools that indigenous children must learn in everyday, but will spend half a billion dollars on Canada 150 – a birthday party founded and based upon genocide.

This type of reconciliation claims to “love” indigenous peoples but expects your indigenous child to sing “oh Canada” in their classroom every morning, standing up.

This type of reconciliation is “making space” for indigenous peoples in writing and editorials but later compiles money together to create an appropriation prize.

This type of reconciliation is “putting an end” to indigenous young people killing themselves but only provides enough money for communities to bring in guest speakers and concerts rather than full time therapists equipped with all the tools needed to aid young people in full-blown crisis. 

This type of reconciliation “seeks” to decrease the numbers of indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system but will place a young indigenous male in solitary confinement for 4 years for no real reason other than being an Indian in “Canada.” 

This type of reconciliation wants to build better relationships with indigenous peoples but is building better ways to commit treason, genocide, colonization, and prejudice with nice hair and a smile of lies.

This reconciliation is for the colonizers. 

This is a time of pseudo-reconciliation for continued colonization.

This reconciliation is colonization, disguised with dollar signs and white-skinned handshakes. 

This reconciliation is not our reconciliation. 

Because.

The only reconciliation that exists for us, as Indigenous nations, is the reconciliation we need to find within ourselves and our communities, for agreeing and complying to this madness for so long. 

The only reconciliation that exists for us, is the reconciliation needed to forgive our families, our loved ones, for acting like the colonizer.

The only reconciliation we need. Is a reconciliation that doesn’t involve white skinned handshakes and five dollar handouts for our lands.

The only reconciliation we need is indigenous reconciliation. Free of money. Handshakes. Photo-ops. Inquiries with summer vacations. The continued rape of our women, our girls, our lands, and our babies. Highway of tears and roadways of fears. The continued murder of our women, our girls, our lands, and our babies. Free of shaming our boys out for being indigenous boys with indigenous hair. Free of shaming our girls for being indigenous girls with indigenous skin. Free of support for the colonizer’s version of indigenous “culture,” yet no support money for liberation. Free of supremacy. Trickery. Fake it til you make it syndrome. Indian agents. Sir John A Macdonald governments disguised as Trudeau. Colonial chiefs. Free of the continued manipulation, colonization, degradation, and humiliation of Indigenous people. Free of colonially written documents claiming to “save” us, viewing us always, as victims. Free of the lyrics of Oh Canada for breakfast for our children. 

Instead of us living in times of reconciliation, we are living in times of recolonization. 

And it will only happen if we allow it.

This reconciliation is for the colonizer. And we need to leave this conversation. 

We need to reconcile with ourselves. With our families. With our nations.

For our babies. 

Because I want our children to to learn about our own liberation, rather than the colonizer’s reconciliation. 

And I want our children to know that 
Indigenous liberation will always overthrow colonial reconciliation. 

Because having our homelands is more important to me than a photo-op and handshake with government officials named Trudeau. 

Artwork by: Votan Henriquez 

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21 thoughts on “This Reconciliation is for the Colonizer

  1. I could not agree more! Thank you for affirming what I know in my heart to be true! Thank you for saying what I have felt, but would never have so lovingly articulated. I do not believe in what they call reconciliation. That term, like so many others, has become perverted through misuse. From where I stand on my journey, today, I am just barely surviving. Thank you for these words. They are oxygen, water and Love, at the same time; nourishing me and sustaining me to take a few more steps. These stories help me to find the strength to maybe help one other soul to take one more step. Thank you for holding us up and reminding us of who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep thinking about how the work that needs to take place in Non-Indigenous Canada it seems to me is being largely avoided. Former allies turned ministers demonstrate again how this colonial Canadian system remains all powerful. They think their ‘personal commitment’ replaces taking action because for them, like all before, it is too expensive to end their own law’s sexist discrimination, too expensive to live up to the treaties, too expensive to provide the funds owed for education, welfare, housing… Canadians need more than a history lesson, since this is the present, today. We need a mirror to look at ourselves a little more clearly. And stop pretending it doesn’t have to hurt us (the hurt has been carried by Indigenous people). I keep thinking about how different my education as a German was, learning about and dealing with the responsibility of my nation perpetrating genocide.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this, everything is said that must be said here. Time is now to stop playing the game, Time is now for change and it must happen at the grassroots level all across the land. Enough is enough already.

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  4. Beautiful! I just need to add that we indeginous native people in the United States are also being murdered on a weekly basis by law Enforcement and we are not receiving any compensation or recognition in our communities! The issues are truly the same that we are dealing with and we must continue to fight it!

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  5. I hope that it will be all you envision and more for greatness in your nation. I think your desire and object for moving forward does begin from your dearest selves first consideration. our muddling to get things right is presumptuous. May you allow all good things only to come your way .It is in your power only. Yes. So appreciate your sharing and clarity. I will do my best to never hold your present momentum for good change as anything to do with ”me” . I am not better than you and hope that acknowledging the past is only a brief declaration in a longer declaration of the wonderful things and present and future now /best changes for the wholeness of six nations.

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  6. As an Indigenous person, I must tell you how disappointed I was to discover in my Facebook news feed this vitreolic article by a hate-mongering ‘writer’ who knows so little about the important topic of reconciliation that they truly can only be counterproductive to the cause. Not only does the writer sound naive and unschooled; they actually sound like a fifteen-year-old requiring a couple more years of growing up, and learning more about the topic before being allowed to ever post again. And, indeed, if the writer is a fifteen-year-old, this page should have informed readers of that, so that no-one would take the article as anything more than a wild-eyed child’s fantasies. As it is, the article is glossily presented, as a piece of journalism which any of your less-critical readers might wrongly accept as fact, and thereby come themselves to hold such warped and unproductive views as those espoused therein. Beyond that – even the quality of the writing is sub-standard. Do you not have editorial staff to correct spelling and grammar? Or to delete phrases and even full sentences repeated? Again, if it was teenager who wrote the article, you should make your readers aware of that. (In such case, I would not have submitted this comment in the first place.) Otherwise, if the writer is an adult, then they are by no means a writer, and the article should not have been deemed worthy or ‘fit to print’.

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    1. I don’t know where you were educated but to criticize this piece is wrong….the grammar is fine, the style is provocative and the tone is acceptable. Your comments are meandering and hold no weight.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Looks like you called out a career reconciliation and “native” professor who wasn’t ready to be told the truth about their positions in the world! You’ve made a career on people’s sorrows, history, and pain. A new nation of youth have risen to call you out on your colonial thinking and space and we are the NOW. 15 years and younger are the now, not just the future and we will not stand by all the ism’s you bring to the table !!!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. what is actually naive is someone who thinks that reconcilation is a real goal (and not a pacification tool) while this planet is being torn apart by [white] men with no respect for anything but the size of a persons wallet. you need to grow up and learn how to tell the difference between your fantasy world and the actual reality of the colonizer’s world. because in the colonizer’s world there is no room for indigenous justice, only room for take take take and take some more until nothing is left but an empty beaten soulless shell of a person who is incapable of telling the difference between themselves and their oppressor.

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  7. As an Indigenous woman I am sad to here of another Indigenous person, devalue and purposely try to delegitimize another’s Indigenous voice. If you took the time to read this article properly you would see that deconstruction of the colonial trappings that even reconciliation is playing on Indigenous people’s had been misleading and misrepresented that ever indigenous person what’s the “governments” type and timing for reconciliation . This is typical lateral violence that we continue to perpetuate and perpetrate in our own communities. It speaks to the fact that YES we do need to reconcile with ourselves our communities and nations, which means saying “”fuck you to this new trend called “Reconciliation”because it’s just another means to a colonial system of making face bit never really following through.
    Also don’t talk down on someone else’s thoughts using the same colonial constructed devices such demeaning the authors use or lack there of grammar or punctuation or the age of the person because if this you truly inderstood our indigenous values and ways of knowing….we valued every community members thoughts and opinions no matter the age or stage of life because everyone had and added value and wisdom to the discussion.
    If you were really actively read/listened and reflected on this peice it should have given more thought to discussion not a place for a tangent on deconstruction the substandard writing of the author or age of the person. I think someone needs to look at themselves and say what’s in myself (my bundle) that is healthy and brings value and positive solutions to my community.

    Another thing this is the reason why are youth of today don’t succeed, have so many challenges and barriers with bullying bullshit like this.

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  8. Loved your writing. I live in Australia and as an indigenous person so much of what you write is very relevant and similar here. I loved reading what I have been feeling and have wanted to find ways to express it through my experience here. But your words give me hope that not everyone is unconscious of what is happening in the guise of ‘reconciliation’. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Well then. A lively discussion indeed. My initial observation is how true it is that negativity inspires more negativity… I myself am the son of a Nuu-chah-nulth father, and a dutch/farm girl/flower child mother and two cultures that came together in the late 70’s around shared values of protecting the forests of Clayoquot. I would agree that there is a lot to be upset about in the world generally, and in Canada specifically. I wear the scars myself, and they still flare up with anguish at the most unexpected times. And, there is a lot of good hearted work being done in the world also. When I read this article, and the comments here, I think of the many elders I have met across Canada and the world. I think of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation process of South Africa, and beautiful human beings like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. My hearts swells with compassion, and the tragedy of it all. How walking in this place with the dark brown skin I have sets me a part, and contrasts me to the majority. I wonder if they see my skin color or my white button shirt and blazer… I want to feel sorry for the 12 year old boy I was when I first felt the racist hatred of white city police. But of course the embarrassment of feeling sorry for ones self swiftly follows. I forgave that police officer many years ago, so I am no longer a victim. However, I do have three sons who share my skin color, which might make them a person of interest in a few years, and I have daughters that I want to live a safe life. One with dignity. And so I am deeply compelled to make this country and this world a better place. I hope we can do it, together. Klecko Klecko. Chuu.

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  10. The truth that colonial / settler canadians need to face up to and speak about is the truth of stolen land and resources, the truth of the fear that arises when challenged to honour treaties and behave respectfully and honourably to the Peoples on whose land we reside and to the land itself.
    To use an analogy, it is like we have stolen someone’s truck and are driving it around. The truth needs to be more than “i’m still driving your truck” as we pass them walking by the side of the road. The truth needs to be willingness to acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples generously offered to share the land and resources and that colonizers have kept on driving that truck for generations and getting rich from it while seldom (if ever) sharing in return.
    It is time to face the fear (dare i say terror?) that arises when we think “what if i never get to drive the truck again, or even catch a ride, what if i have to walk, what if i have to give up privilege and luxury in order to share equitably?” and even “what if people treat me the way i have treated them??”
    The barrier to reconciliation is the fear of telling the truth, fear of getting the consequences of our actions, fear of loss of wealth and power.
    It is time and past time to grow up and have these hard conversations amongst ourselves and with policy makers.
    Thank you for your eloquent writing.

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  11. Reblogged this on de frémancourt and commented:
    This is what pure wisdom and straightforward thinking look like. This post says all that needs to be said re the ongoing talk on ‘reconciliation’ in the northerly territories of Turtle Island. Settle people, especially white settler people, ought to seriously listen to and take stock of this invaluable wisdom. #NoIWontJustMoveOn

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