I feel incredibly grateful to live and practice my healing arts on this beautiful harbour in what we settlers now call Victoria, or Vic West. My home and my business location are the same - this old house that my grandparents bought a few years after they moved to Canada from England in the early 1960s.
But I have often stood at my huge window overlooking the water and wondered what it looked like before all the trees came down, before the swamp of the (now) Inner Harbour was filled in, before buildings and cars and lights and earth-moving machines changed the landscape.
I’ve been struggling to find a way to hold the uncomfortable past of colonialism that is responsible for the world as I currently live in it. I finally realized that my discomfort drives me to make change in my perspective, change in how I wield my social privilege as the European descended settler that I am.
Here I would like to name and acknowledge the Lekwungen People, often called the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations (though these are names given to them by others) who have held this land from time immemorial for their children and their children’s children.
Comfort in the face of Canada's historic and current treatment of the First Nations Peoples is a sign of my settler privilege. My acknowledgment and gratitude are not enough, and could never be enough. I pledge to learn and take action towards reconciliation with the First Peoples of this land that I call home.
It feels right to make space here for some of the Lekwungen People to speak for themselves: Songhees Nation.
PS. If you would like to send me a message about this or you think there’s something I should know, please email me.