How I feel about attending the TRC

I write this as I sit in the Vancouver airport awaiting my flight to Ottawa to attend the final Truth and Reconciliation event in Canada. I'm not sure how I should feel or what I should expect. From my experience attending parts of the TRC event in Vancouver, I know I'll be moved. But moved to what? Lest I attend as some sort of social justice tourist, keeping any personal ownership of this dark side of Canada's history at arms length, I need to be more than just socially informed. But even as I write this I realize how my struggle is mostly with my own discomfort being there than with the actual findings of the TRC and the countless people it represents. So begins what I suspect will be a series of challenging reminders. Reminder #1: attending the TRC isn't about me attending the TRC. I can have a role to play, no doubt. But how I feel about my experience isn't the point. In the words of TRC Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson, "how we feel about the TRC is only as important as how it shapes our actions." If anything, as I head into participating in the final TRC event, I anticipate the powerful impact truthful storytelling can have, personally and socially. Will I be uncomfortable and sorrowful, unsure for the future of reconciliation in our country? Likely yes, as I'm sure many others will be. Yet in the discomfort there comes the hope as I realize how sharing our stories and listening to one another can create a unity that acknowledges the past, rests in the present, and hopes for better stories in the future. 


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