Teach and Build
My comments are two-fold, and I think they go hand-in-hand.
Growing up as an Indigenous girl, I remember thinking I was ugly. None of the people on the television looked like me - most celebrities were fair skinned with blonde hair. I was taught this was what beautiful was. I remember thinking, "I am so grateful my skin is not dark," and that is such a terrible thing to think about. As I grew older I was able to understand the oppression and stereotypes that were forced upon myself, my family, my Indigenous community. I realized if we just changed our thinking and showed the world what we really believe - that Indigenous women are beautiful, that your skin tone is beautiful, that your round face and brown eyes are worthy of love - that the world would be a better place.
Growing up and learning about John A MacDonald and Residential Schools, I was taught to be proud of John A MacDonald although I knew he helped to build and allow the system that hurt my grandmothers, my aunties, and further today, hurt my family as intergenerational trauma. I do acknowledge what John did for our country - both good, and bad. I do not condone cancel culture - I condone owning the past and teaching the future.
There is so much I could say but I know you have more stories to hear. So, I will leave with this: Put John a MacDonald in a spot that does not seek to worship or necessarily praise, but to teach. Provide contextual information. And in his old place, in Victoria Park, put a beautiful and impactful Indigenous Person - so the future growing Indigenous Population can be proud of their history and know our community is proud, too. Work to rebuild a community that should have, from the onset, been truly proud of Indigenous accomplishments. Your future generations will thank you.
Consultation has concluded