Here’s a short clip from a video Sam Nammoura took of my speech at Central Library as part of Immigrants Legacy, hosted by Centre for Newcomers and Calgary Public Library. (posted on Facebook)
From the Talk
… wave of immigration. Someone said, “Well, the First Nations welcomed us onto the land here.” I don’t know if we really welcomed them. (laughter) They sort of imposed on us so we had no other choice. The only other choice was to kill each other and at that time we said: we can’t kill each other because there’s no purpose, and we’ll lose anyways.
So we came up with this peace treaty. We didn’t give up anything else, it’s just a share of land. Sharing that means to share what we know, our knowledge, our lifeways, how we see the world. There’s been years and years of oppression.
Many often came from countries where they’ve been oppressed themselves. And I always say, “Make sure you don’t bring those attitudes here. We don’t want to go through this all over again. Remember we don’t have a treaty with you so we’ll kill you. (laughter.) We don’t ever want to get to that. But there is a reality in that.
We have to learn to understand and to appreciate who the other is. We’re all looking for identity. Identity within our own cultural makeup, where we fit in with this country we call Canada and our relationship to where our children are going to be placed. I do this because of my grandsons; I don’t know who they’re going to have children with. All I know is they’re going to choose partners who are going to be really good people. That’s my wish….
Find out more about the Legacy Gift to Newcomers work HERE.