- Ben Borne | June 19, 2023
Ah yes, it’s the month of June once again – a month full of celebrations. For me it’s a celebration of all my intersecting identities – myself as a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community and my Indigenous ancestry.
June is pride month – 2SLGBTQI+ everywhere are celebrating the major progress made towards a more inclusive society over the past number of years. That being said, in other places around the world we’ve taken many steps backwards this past year. There is much to celebrate, but there is still much more work to do.
June is also National Indigenous History Month – with a National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration on June 21. Over the course of the month, Canadians across will be celebrating and building new understandings of Indigenous history, culture and perspectives. While we’ve come a long way on the journey of reconciliation – we still have a ways to go.
A wise person recently reflected with me on the work we have to do in reconciliation. She noted that it is not up to Indigenous people to be reconciling – that’s the job of settlers. Settlers have to wrestle with their role in the legacies of the treaties, residential schools, Sixties Scoop and the foster care system. For Indigenous people – well our job is to decolonize ourselves. Admittedly I move through the world with a very mainstream, colonized perspective – the process of decolonization is challenging for me. I am constantly reminded that I have my own work to do to unpack my worldview and to understand my culture and where I come from. I realize that this is likely a common experience for many Indigenous people in Canada, but often I feel like I am on an island in my own muddled identity, and I realize this is the effect of the legacy left for those born from those who came through the Sixties Scoop and foster care system.
This is why I love Eagle Feather News. It makes my island feel a bit more land-locked. This publication is by no means a lucrative business, but it is a vessel for building an understanding of oneself and sharing stories from across the province. It helps me, and hopefully others, build a sense of identity.
For our Indigenous History month edition, we are highlighting inspiring athletes, authors, leaders and organizations who are making a difference in our communities across Saskatchewan. Make sure you take a moment to flip to our Indigenous History Month quiz put together by our good friend John Lagimodiere.
While this is all good and exciting stuff, I want to recognize the tension that comes with celebrating diverse communities whether it’s pride or Indigenous history. There are mixed emotions when celebrating great progress but also facing the reality that to bring further justice and equality for our community members is a daunting task. And for individuals during this time, it can also be a time of celebrating pride in their own identity, but it can also be a challenge for some as they unpack who they are or where they come from and why things are the way they are.
No matter who you are or whether you are celebrating, pushing for change or still figuring out this world we live in – you have a story to tell. And we at Eagle Feather News honour that story this month.