Blog contribution by Settler: S. Semper, member of the Settler UX Research Team, June 21, 2019
I’d intended to take some time to review the report findings after finishing my final project for this semester at school. I knew it would take time for me to truly sit with and consider the report’s contents. And I expected to return to posting with new purpose and vigour.
But, time passes. And it’s very easy to forget to track what progress you’re making as you’re caught in the moment. Time shouldn’t be an excuse. Yet, one thing many settlers and immigrants have is the benefit, or #privilege, of time. The consideration of space.
While I was reading and taking my sweet time, pundits, politicians and reporters argued about the meaning of the word genocide. A ridiculous exercise considering the well drafted supplementary report. But the exercise served its purpose in the minds of some settlers, immigrants and visitors. It gave us goal posts to move and academic minutia to focus on rather than remembering there are humans immediately experiencing the ongoing effects of that genocide to this day.
Today, while scrolling my timeline on Twitter, I encountered a post relating to an Indigenous woman who’s baby was seized “due to reports of neglect” within 90 minutes of the child’s birth. They had not yet left the hospital bed, let alone the hospital! The child was forcibly removed from their parents and (temporarily?) resettled in a foster home. Born on June 12, the baby has barely spent precious bonding time with their mother outside of short supervised visits. A hearing for the baby’s return to the family is not scheduled until June 25th. THIS is what ongoing genocide looks like. THIS is what settler and immigrant privilege looks like. This long, ridiculous process to reclaim a child that I expect never should have been seized in the first place. I question why CFS did not investigate the neglect claim, or the parent’s home – had safety concerns existed – while the baby remained safely in the hospital with their parents and under the care of trained medical staff.
It is time to begin screaming and shouting to the rafters that this behaviour by our government agencies is not acceptable. It is time to throw spotlights on the day-to-day indignities and injustices Indigenous peoples encounter while attempting to move through their lives. It is long past time that we consider that our wester/euro-centric ways of doing things have horrific results and need cease.
It is time for me to remember my commitments to educating myself and others.