Product of my Environment

When Pam began acknowledging the Colten Boushie case and then began acknowledging more Indigenous people whom lives were lost through injustices it brought back a similar feeling that I have been feeling a lot throughout my journey at university. A feeling of guilt for being a white settler. There have been numerous occasions I have felt the guilt of actions that have been made by other white settlers. Far too often I am hearing people talk down upon the First Nation culture using the common rebuttals (myths) that we have learned in our classes. It then had me thinking of what I can do to make a difference and really left me wondering of what I have contributed to help others. The more I was thinking about it, the more it brought me back to why I am becoming a teacher. One of the main reasons I would like to be a teacher is to make a difference in society, hopefully being able to inspire others to not only reach their full potential but to also treat one another with respect. This really gave me time to reflect on my own time on Mother Earth and my own miskâsowin process. I began thinking really hard of who I am, what I stand for and who shaped me to be who I am before all of you today. The more I thought I about it the more thankful I became for whom I have been able to associate myself with. I really am thankful for all of my family and friends I do have. Regardless of their beliefs they have all left an impact on me in some positive way. I can recall in school hearing about the phrase, “you are a product of your environment” and for me that still remains true. When I begin thinking of the people I spend the most time around I really do have very similar, yet different traits as these people. Some of these people are my closest friends, my teachers, my siblings, my parents, etc. If it were not for these people I would not be the person I am today. Pam then continued on to say that the racism didn’t occur at the jury stage, rather the issue arose the moment Colton died and that is what we have to eliminate. I agree with Pam, this issue never should have even of made it to court. This is an issue that never should have gone this far. Once again I began thinking of how to correct, and learn from this awful, terrible tragedy. Which brought me back to one of my original thoughts of why I became a teacher. I truly believe that if everyone were educated more, there would be far less racism present in society. If we can teach our students to work with one another, learn form one another, everyone would benefit. For instance I never would have anticipated I would ever participate in a pipe ceremony, but after participating in one and being exposed to some First Nation’s tradition my world-view has been opened up. I can see the benefits of another cultures tradition. University has impacted my miskâsowin greatly and has allowed the opportunity to see another, totally different perspective from how I grew up. With that being said, I do not think people should have to wait until university to experience these different world-views. I believe we need to start introducing them at a younger age to our students to help reduce the amount of racism in society. I look forward to becoming a teacher and accept the challenges that will present themselves.

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