"I have come to understand that I have been privileged in Canada because I am white. I was on the side that made the rules. I didn't learn racism at home. On the contrary, my immigrant parents had a lot of respect for Native Canadians so I respected them too." - Judith Greenwood
We are happy to report that Canadians are continuing to call on the Canadian government to put forward legislation clearly establishing Indigenous Peoples's status as Founding Nations of Canada. One of the most powerful actions Canadians are taking is using our Letter-to-the-Editor tool. This powerful tool allows Canadians to successfully publish dozens of letters in Canadian newspapers, an effective and innovative way to call on the Canadian government to turn Recognition to Action.
Below is an excerpt from a letter sent by Elaine Ward from Halifax.
I am a 63 year old white woman and I am still learning about the history of colonialism in Canada. From the residential schools to racism in the police force to the murdered and missing Indigenous women to the crisis of despair in the northern Indigenous communities to the disgraceful Indian Act and the overt disrespect shown to native people in the street and on the net.
I have come to understand that I have been privileged in Canada because I am white. I was on the side that made the rules. I didn't learn racism at home. On the contrary, my immigrant parents had a lot of respect for Native Canadians so I respected them too.
I realize now that I was ignorant about all of their history and the reality of colonialism from the Indigenous perspective and that the respect I felt was based on white privilege. Maybe even condescending, although that wasn't my intention. I am an ignorant white woman who wants to help push this dialog forward so that we can all find equal footing on the land we call Canada.
I am not alone in my education. Many Canadians are waking up to the hard truth that has been hidden in the past. Let's find each other. WEAR RED OCT 1. Let there be a sea of red in every city. On the streets, in the office, at lunch and in the grocery store. Paint the town red. In a good way.
We will show that we are listening and that all Canadians of every colour want a Canada where Indigenous people have the respect they deserve and our sincere apology that it took 150 years for us to understand the big picture.
Now is the time to turn recognition to action. Learn more at Recognition2Action.ca.
- Judith Greenwood
A big thank you to those of you that have taken time to send letters to editors all around Canada. If you haven't sent a letter yet, you can do so NOW by clicking on this link: http://www.recognition2action.ca/letter.