This summer, Morgana and I were brought on to a new project at RESOLVE SK as research assistants. The goal of this project is to engage Indigenous Elders, leaders, and community partners in a series of conversations about how RESOLVE SK might better serve them as an anti-violence organization and develop new ideas for how the spirit of reconciliation might be better woven into our network. In other words, we'll be looking into how to realign RESOLVE SK's current practices with ones which more authentically speak to the spirit of reconciliation in the hopes of better embodying this spirit ourselves.
One of the biggest challenges we’ve encountered so far is definitely finding the right language to describe what we’re doing! Decolonization, indigenization, reconciliation...these are terms most of us have heard before, and there’s a fear that using such words too often without the action to back them up might dilute them. There’s also a fear that existing language might not fully capture what it is we seek to accomplish anyway. For example, what does it mean to commit to reconciliation as opposed to decolonization or indigenization? What do any of these commitments even look like?Karen’s suggestion has been to approach this project as a kind of conversation in and of itself, with a focus on developing principles rather than hard-and-fast rules. It’s something which will grow and change over time, and that means the shape of this project, along with the language we use, can evolve as needed. To that end, we hope that members of the community will continue to reach out to us and tell their stories through features like Moments of Pause so that we may all learn and grow together. Until then, I hope we can continue to cultivate a space where such sharing can happen.