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When the TRC released its calls to action in 2015, I took some action of my own. I discovered that an 1827 treaty had legitimized my great great grandparents settling in traditional Nishnaabe territory, in present-day Southwestern Ontario, in 1832. Checking out what my responsibilities toward that treaty might be plunged me into a very personal grappling with Canada’s colonial history. It had left a shadow on my thinking and behaviour, which blocked my forming respectful relationships with the Nishnaabe of the Stoney Point Reserve whose forebears had also been part of that treaty.
Have a listen to this 2-minute clip of me reading the prologue to my memoir sharing my having stumbled and fumbled my way into transforming a colonial relationship into a treaty one. When I showed up that day, I had no idea how much work I had to do on myself – to level the playing field in my mind.