Academic News, Decolonization, Well-being for all
Still in the truth phase
As part of Indigenous Peoples’ Week, on March 28 Dawson pedagogical counsellor Kanerahtiio (Tiio) Hemlock gave a talk entitled Canadian Colonialism in Perspective.
Tiio’s position as Indigenous pedagogical consultant at Dawson is new and he has been developing his presentation as a way to share his perspective on truth and reconciliation, decolonization and Indigenization.
“Truth and reconciliation are why I am here now in this new position…since the apology and the mass graves were found, funding has become available,” he said.
“Reconciliation implies we were together at one point. How can we come back together? When were we together? We are still in the truth phase. The focus has been on the harm done in these schools. There has not been a big focus on why these schools were made in the first place.”
Tiio then gave an overview of history from an Indigenous perspective sharing facts that are not usually part of Canadian history. He decided to make his beginning point July 1, 1867, the date Canada became a country. In 1867, there was still “an Indian problem,” he said. “There were still people who have a legitimate claim to the land. We shouldn’t have still been here. These people were destined for extinction. How do we address the Indian problem?”
Tiio then explained how schools are just the tip of the iceberg. Tiio went over major historical events, including the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway all the way to the unjust application of Bill 96. He told stories about how these events impacted members of his family as well as the community of Kahnawake. Colonialism still exists today, he said.
Tiio is available to give this presentation to classes and departments at Dawson. Contact him to make a request: firstname.lastname@example.org