Heather Menzies | Seeker
As a descendent of a treaty that entitled my father’s people to ‘settle’ in Upper Canada, I am now taking on that heritage. I’ve been learning through reading and reviewing books and also by seeking out the Indigenous descendants of that treaty, and listening to their stories, including of the 1995 Ipperwash tragedy.
The search for connection has permeated my work, first in an essay, ”When roots grow back into the earth” about planting trees at an abandoned family farm.
Then, through five books culminating in No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life, I explored the shadow side of digital connection: a disconnection from ourselves and each other, from community and from the earth.
In Enter Mourning, I wrote about reconnecting with my mother so I could be truly with her as she declined with dementia and died.
More recently I’ve sought one root of this, as ancestral disconnection. In Reclaiming the Commons, I explored where and how my forbears lived in intimate, inter-generational connection to the land in the Scottish Highlands – until the Clearances when these shared common lands were enclosed.
And, more recently, participating in the Paddle the Peace to affirm the Indigenous connection to the land of Treaty 8, and now engaged in at least the initial phases of treaty renewal: acknowledging wrongs, apologizing and supporting ways to make amends and to heal the disconnect.