The events leading Canadian society to the Truth and Reconciliation Process, the resulting Calls to Action, and the subsequent media attention around the negative impacts of our colonizing history, all coincide to create a space for repentance and reconciliation. We believe that SSU has both a responsibility and an opportunity to respond.
SSU is situated on the traditional and unceded territory of the Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy). Our current engagement with indigenous peoples has provided SSU and our extended community with rich opportunities for meaningful dialogue and deepening awareness of the issues facing indigenous individuals and communities.
Thanks to generous funding from Stronger Together, SSU has launched the Education for Reconciliation (EFR) Project. The main components include a symposium on reconciliation, the addition of over 40 indigenous studies resources to the SSU library, and the creation of a digital experiential library. Our aim is to set a foundation for a continuing journey of dialogue, learning, and restitution, along with creating experiences for our student body to learn more about indigenous peoples, and to incorporate indigenous voices into our school’s library.
What is an Experiential Library?
“The truth about stories is that’s all we are.” (Thomas King)
As part of the Education for Reconciliation Project SSU is designing a digital platform where experiences on the road to reconciliation can be shared. The idea behind this digital library is to capture the story of how SSU is moving towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples, including the lessons we have learned along our path.
The purpose of this digital collection is to capture an element of the experience. SSU recognizes that our students have a variety of gifts and a variety of ways of expressing themselves. The list of ideas below is not meant to be exhaustive – any form of expression which can be captured digitally would most likely be welcomed and we encourage students to discuss possible submission ideas beyond this list.
Please always ensure you ask others for permission before you record, photograph, or film their speech or image- as we work interculturally some contexts are not appropriate to capture and we need to seek that wisdom from others.
Written: You could create a blog post (~500 words) about your experience, write a poem, or a short reflective story or essay (~500+).
Sound: You could compose music, write song lyrics, or record a spoken reflection or elements of the event.
Visual: You could create a video/vlog reflection, record elements of the event, take a photograph and reflect on its importance to your learning, create a piece of art and take a photo and write a short description of it.
If you’re stuck on where to start these are some questions that may help you reflect on your experience.
- What did I see that was different or unfamiliar?
- What do I feel about what I saw or experienced?
- What made me uncomfortable? Why was I uncomfortable?
- Was there anything really difficult about this situation? If so, why?
- What questions did this experience bring up for me?
- What did the people I encountered teach me about myself, about the world?
- How was your faith tradition in the midst of this experience?
- What has this experience caused me to examine in my life, my community, my country?
- What did you learn about others, yourself, the world, or God from this experience?
- How has this experience changed me?
- What have I learned about myself through this experience?
- How have you challenged yourself, your ideals, your philosophies, your concept of life or the way you live?
- What more needs to be done?
- How will this alter your future behaviors/attitudes/and career?
- What are the values and limitations of my culture?
- Do my actions make any difference in the grand scheme of things?
- What is my society, or life, or God, asking of me?
- What have been the best and worst parts of the experiences?
- Describe the people you met.
- What public policies are involved? How can they be improved?
- How can society better deal with the problem?
- Where do we go from here? What’s the next step?