by Bev Best, Manager of Aboriginal Student Engagement
My mother is a residential school survivor, and she struggles every day with conflict in the world around her.
Navigating both the Western world and the Indigenous world is not an easy task. While residential schools finally closed in 1996, in many ways they have created a huge gap in Indigenous people’s lives. In light of their history, we need to find ways to engage in healthy conflict or none at all.
The definition of the word conflict is to have a serious disagreement or difference of opinion. Reconciliation is the restoration of fixing disagreements or differences of opinion. Today, society has created more and more ways for people to voice their differences and create conflict within those disparities. We find many venues within which to complain or voice our distaste in ourselves, in our surroundings and with each other. The dangers of these venues are the lack of space to reconcile those differences and find a path to work together to change opinions from negative to positive, or create a space where we can respectfully disagree, honouring that we all have a voice.
As we move toward Reconciliation at UNBC, it is important for me to state that Indigenous people do not blame non-Indigenous people ‘today’, for what happened ‘yesterday’, but we know you are an important part of the solution for what happens in our future, together.
The launching of the 1000 Ravens campaign to represent Reconciliation at UNBC is a small step forward. The building of each raven is not an easy task, but Reconciliation is not easy either. You are going to face conflict building your raven, but let that be a reminder of the difficult process of Reconciliation. It won’t happen overnight, but with perseverance, we know the end result will be beautiful and will hopefully be motivation to complete this small task. Together we can make Reconciliation happen, and although there might be conflict on the way, we have to realize there is a better future where we can celebrate our differences.
1000 Ravens for Reconciliation
An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. The Raven is an important figure within First Nations culture, symbolizing change and transformation.
The UNBC First Nations Centre is asking you to make an origami Raven as part of our goal to make 1000 Ravens in one year to symbolize a University-wide wish for Reconciliation. Once 1000 Ravens have been completed, they will be displayed