National Aboriginal Day has me thinking about the importance of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, my own life experiences and the responsibility that we all have in making this country a better place for all those who live here.
Having grown up in Brantford on the traditional territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River, I was well attuned to the cultural divide and broken communications between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Being just a few kilometers away from a First Nations community did nothing to enhance my knowledge of the rich history and geography – it just wasn’t taught in school.
I didn’t get properly educated until I had the remarkable opportunity in my adult life to work with First Nations communities first-hand.
It was during this time that I learned of the extraordinary impact that relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people have had on the lives of citizens and on the progress of our communities.