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Opinion

Build understanding, build respect: how hard can it be?

By Rose LeMay      

Everybody has a story, and Indigenous families need to have their stories heard. With understanding, maybe we can even build some respect.

Red Sky Performance, pictured on Sept. 30, 2019, at the Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. One of the consistent responses from non-Indigenous participants is shock about the amount of pain that some Indigenous families go through, writes Rose LeMay. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—I teach about cultural competence and the lack of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. One of the consistent responses from non-Indigenous participants is shock about the amount of pain that some Indigenous families go through. It’s true, some Indigenous families endure more pain in a year than some non-Indigenous families might endure in decades. However, this isn’t the trauma competition game and there are no winners.

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