Being an Indigenous student comes with its own unique set of experiences.
In the era of ‘Reconciliation’, post-secondary education has become the catalyst for change within our communities; the bridge between two systems of knowledge, and the foundation on which we’ve begun to create understanding.
It’s also a delicate balance between retaining one’s identity and pursuing one’s dreams. For many of us, it is a constant struggle between voicing our opinion and becoming a spokesperson, between sharing culture and becoming entertainment, between creating our own path and honouring our traditions.
It’s a strange feeling to discuss residential schools historically as if they aren’t our grandparents, aunts, and uncles were talking about. It’s even more odd to discuss Indigenous peoples in Canada and their traditions while sitting in a class as an Indigenous person still following those same traditions.
As we make our way through higher education and work together towards Reconciliation, we must find a way to first reconcile our own paths. To walk in our journey holding the knowledge of both worlds in balance. To learn from and with each other. Reconciliation starts here. Reconciliation starts with you, and it starts with me.
Check out what he had to say about the journal below:
“North By West speaks the language of Canadian landscapes through photographs and writing. As I look out my window today from the comfort of a fourth floor office sheltered by Cardinal’s curving design, I see Grande Prairie blanketed by snow. In Canada we live in plural places as the seasons colour our experience. It is early December, minus twenty, and an arctic front brings ice hardened snow and wind. Visually, I wonder where all of the people are as I scan and gaze? Houses, trucks and stores keep many of our bodies warm, but some of us, some of us are outside, facing the freezing cold and squinting to absorb a landscape that envelopes us in a world of grande scale.
North By West is an attempt at social engineering and is a collaboration between image makers and scholars. Together with my co-editor, Kyler Zeleny, a current PhD candidate at York/Ryerson, we have brought together a collection inspired by re-imagining what it means to live in relation to place, to re-visit places in cyclical patterns, and to see past memories in future visions. North By West is a timely and geographically relevant distinction in terms of North America. Grande Prairie sits somewhere in the middle of the loosely specified zone.
We hope North By West is a delight for the eyes and when read aloud, for the ears. Take a moment to follow the link http://imaginations.csj.ualberta.ca/?p=8731 and spend some time glancing and gazing upon landscapes, people, and places that you may or may not have come to know. We encourage you to look upon North By West as one of the many contributions that our research and teaching faculty have made over the years. North By West shares goals with GPRC as a responsive, scholarly, diverse and serves the needs of the community by taking a critical and creative stance on what we mean when we say, to live well. “