Friday, July 22, 2016

Decolonizing: Is this Just an Academic Thing?

Driving down Albert Street in Regina, past the Legislative Building, over Wascana Bridge, past the Fire Hall, I see tents and one tipi on the right side of the street in front of a big, concrete building. I remember this is the Colonialism No More encampment. I've driven by a few times.

I should stop in, I think. I see one man sitting alone in a circle of chairs under an umbrella, as I drive past. If I didn't have to go help my friend this morning, I'd maybe go visit the camp.

I'm buying yogurt in the McDonalds Drive thru when my friend phones and she doesn't need me until 1:00pm. It's only 9:00am. 

Maybe I should go for a walk in Wascana Park, I think. I need to start walking more.

I drive back, past the camp. I circle the block. "90 Days and Counting" I see on the side of a big, white tent. I'm not in the mood to be awkward, I think.

I drive by one more time. Maybe I can take them some coffee, but how many people are there?

I remember talking about decolonization, unsettling, indigenization at the Historical Thinking Summer Institute last week in Vancouver.

Is decolonizing just an academic topic for me?

I see there is parking across the street. I circle one more time and stop, just out of view from the man in the circle. I get out of my car. I peek my head around the main tent.

I am welcomed into the circle.


  1. Thank you Sheena for all you do to educate the great-great grandchildren (like me) of Saskatchewan settlers about the legacy left by those who made it easier for us and much, much more difficult for those who were here before us and those who have come after. So many of us are simply not aware! and not willing to be aware, either.

    1. Thank you so much for your support! I have been thinking a lot about why change is so difficult. I've found it helpful to think about four stages of change as denial, resistance, exploration, and commitment. Thank you for voicing the need for this exploration and joining me in a commitment to self-educate and act against colonialism. I do believe we are honouring our great, great grandparents when we act toward reconciliation. Peace to you.