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, including No Surrender and Land and Power, 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 as well, first in an essay, ”When roots grow back into the earth” about planting trees at an abandoned family farm.
Next, in a book, Enter Mourning, about reconnecting with my mother so I could be truly with her as she declined with dementia and died.
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.