Don’t Be a Bulldozer!

Don’t be a bulldozer. (It really is that simple.)

That is my thought this morning, as I appreciate all the amazing men and women, indigenous and non, healing and learning, doing all they can to move this country and our conversations forward … only to be pushed back by the “bulldozers”.

To clarify, bulldozers come in different forms and colours. They can be the non-indigenous individual or entity that flies into a First Nation community (figuratively or literally) to “save” the people there. You recognize them by their “I have all the answers” attitude, an attitude that refuses to be minimized by the fact that they have never stepped foot in that particular community before. But nevertheless, they “know what we need!” as the indigenous of the community collectively sigh and try to stay clear.

But bulldozers sit at boardroom tables too, in council chambers, and on planning committees. They politely shake the hands of indigenous participants and ask about our kids. They joke with us and all seems awesome until business begins because then it is ALL business. Indigenous are reminded of the clock when they try to speak. Indigenous are “reassured”, their objections dismissed when they do manage to share their opinion. Everything progresses as it always has, with no change and no compromise, but they are the first to want a photo op to show how progress this board is. (In this case, indigenous representation on the board is either short-lived, has a high turnover rate, or both.)

In short, if we are not heard, if we are seen as needing to be saved (rather than the people who have SURVIVED countless traumas), if our words are simply dismissed, if the only reason we are there is to make the group “look” good, then nothing has changed.

And without change, there is no reconciliation.

The journey continues but please, today and always, remember … don’t be a bulldozer.

I love you!