I always knew that my responsibility of a journalist was going to be significant. Before I started college, or was taught by real-life journalists, and definitely before I was thrown head first into the real world of news, I knew that in this job field I would hold the weight of the universe in my hands.
The words that I wrote would actually affect people. The stories that I told the world would have the ability to transform and alter opinions and lives – if I did it properly.
However, what I didn’t realize was that I am apart of a generation who is also responsible for fixing centuries of misconduct.
Canada has two very different versions of history. The one that I was taught and remember from public school, and the version that left me breathless and ashamed of the country that makes up my past.
2016 brought new opportunities and a whole world of new knowledge.
2016 shone a light on a vastly different reality that is happening literally minutes down the road from me.
From guest speakers, to class field trips into sacred territory, to endless and much overdue conversations, to documentaries I was made aware of the history and atrociously unethical treatment of the Indigenous communities.
Centuries of hidden history has done everything from opening my eyes to making me slightly ashamed to be Canadian. I cannot comprehend the ignorance bliss I’ve been living in and the gaps of knowledge about Canada’s history that were almost completely absent before this year.
I have spent countless hours researching a nation that has been taken advantage of, bruised, and beaten, yet still stands with open arms ready to forgive the past and more forward as equals according to a recent 2015 documentary.
In a few short weeks I not only questioned Canada’s power, but desperately wanted to be apart of the communities that our country has tried to shut out.
Communities that pride themselves on being loyal and connected to one another and the universe that they are apart of.
Communities that are so evidently connected to Mother Earth that women do not even move their feet off the ground when they dance (The Grandfather of all Treaties).
Communities that have so much knowledge and assets that would only improve Canada as a whole.
The forgive-fullness, knowledge, and respect that is evident worldwide within the Indigenous communities are characteristics that every single human could benefit from. In my opinion Canada should open both their arms and hearts and invite this nation as not only our equals, but as people who spiritually know the world better than most.
Together the two groups of people that have been so divided could, without a doubt, change the world.
And as a journalist, I know that it is my job to step up to the plate and change every single relationship that I can. It is my job to use all the tools that are being drilled into my brain and try, to the best of my ability, to change the relationship that Indigenous have with the media.
I know that is my responsibility, not only as a journalist but as a human, to share the truth about a nation that has already drastically touched my life.