I came to Culture Days somewhat apprehensive, not knowing what to expect.
First came a smudging ritual. Then an impactful conversation about Indigenous historical experiences, to see how we got where we are now.
We learned about the Dish With 1 Spoon concept – different tribes sharing the land surrounding the Great Lakes region. I had a chance to ask our discussion leader if the Indigenous had a concept of “private property ownership”. She replied simply, “No”. I then suggested that witnessing the European-imposed practice – taking land they had enjoyed, and shared – which became “owned” by these newcomers in their midst, must have been shocking.
Starting an understanding of how the British & French who crossed the ocean to settle North America, imposed their culture, customs and laws on the people who had lived here for millennia, will be requisite to a reconciliation between us and our Indigenous neighbours.
By: R. Burgess