Reconciliation as Recolonization Discussion

Dr. Taiaiake Alfred provides some insights into Canada’s unjust treatment of Native people and defines some of the core problems in his talk Reconciliation as Recolonization. The core problem Dr. Taiaiake focuses on is the fact that their land and colonization were stolen.

The Indigenous communities have had numerous treaties signed to honor their rights and freedoms, yet the treaties have often been dishonored when it is no longer convenient to the government. Dr. Taiaiake uses the example of the Construction of the seaway.

The government promised the aboriginal peoples they wouldn’t be removed from their land, yet the government gave the people no options when it was decided the Seaway would be built right through two aboriginal communities. That was when the trust was lost and the idea to change from the replacement of recolonization with resurgence was brought into play to try and find a way to re-experience the relationship with the land.

The idea of resurgence focuses on the “fire that makes up the nation”. This represents ceremonies, culture beyond traditional aspects, relationships with each other, the communication shared, and the trust that needs to be strong to keep the existence of nature.

Taking the idea of resistance and looking at it for what it is: “something necessary at certain times but not structuring the personality, culture, and community to be in resistance so the resistance doesn’t define you.”

The Aboriginal peoples just want to re-experience the relationship with the land and each other; to find and feel the gaps missing from themselves and learn how to get those parts back. To have land of their own, and people who respect their beliefs, not look down upon them. No factories decaying their land or only allowing the people to land until it is convenient to take it back. Respect their beliefs as if they were Christian, or Catholic, etc.

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