Acknowlegment (Sybil)

Re: Acknowlegment (Sybil)

by Donna DesBiens -
Number of replies: 0

Hi Sybil and all,

I too appreciate the dialogue on language and context in this thread. 

Like Tim, I've given a lot of thought to the use of the word settler. Personally, I'm comfortable with using it in my own acknowledgement because it was regularly used in both school and day to day conversations in my own cultural context, e.g. learning about early settlers in the 'new world' in social studies classes or hearing stories of where family ancestors settled over time.  However, I've also heard reluctance from non-Indigenous colleagues to give a self-location statement if it requires this word either because they just don't relate to the term or they feel it implies they don't/can't belong to places and a country they are deeply attached to. 

For me, this opens up space for generative conversations about how we perceive our cultural identities and how different cultural groups experience belonging (or not) to the same places or country.  For example, in intercultural learning circles, it's well-recognized that people from dominant cultures or groups are often unaware of their own cultural values and privileges, because it just seems to be what is. So reflecting on our own culture(s) from other perspectives can be a transformative learning experience. And maybe feeling some discomfort or tension is a good thing to spark greater awareness and questions about the status quo. 

I also believe people need to 'start from where they are' and be accorded time and space so they can evolve authentic acknowledgements rather than feeling resentment or coercion to use certain terms or rote statements to be politically correct.