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Report From an Allies to First Nations People (Native Americans) Gather-in

In September a group of us met as allies to First Nations people. Everyone came committed to the topic, and everyone worked and discharged well. At the end of the evening, we held a "think and listen" and came up with a list of more specific things to do.

In sessions:

  • Discharge about the land you grew up on or feel most connected to and try saying goodbye to it.

     

  • Discharge hurts related to lack of contact and information about First Nations people. For example, if you grew up next door to a reserve but never went there, in a session go back and invite yourself home with a friend from the reserve.

     

  • Claim your own (often) multiple heritages to contradict the idea that there is an "us" and a "them."

     

  • Remember that even though we have made mistakes in the past, we can be close to all people.

     

  • Discharge on excuses that were given to us as young people for why we were separated from other people. Discharge on how it feels to have been robbed of early opportunities to get close.

     

  • Discharge on class issues.

     

  • Discharge on having been oppressed as a young person.

     

  • Discharge on images of First Nations people in the popular media. These reinforce the separateness of different cultures.

Outside of session:

  • Learn history, learn what really happened. Learn about each other's cultures and integrate them into our lives.

     

  • Make friends with First Nations people.

     

  • Be bold and brave. Don't sit around and wait. Take action.

At the end of the evening Katrina Kienast offered to lead a support group for allies to First Nations people, and Patti Powell offered to organize it.

Elizabeth Shefrin
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00