Descendants of white settlers seek to become aspiring allies with Indigenous peoples, but we are still learning how without supremist perspectives about the answers. With that in mind, I write this story of hope for a better future.
Once upon a time, there was this beautiful unique bowl for holding a delicious stew to feed the goddess of prosperity, well-being, and harmony in the Land of Plenty. She adored the bowl and was dependent on it for her survival.
But then following a Papal Bull on the Doctrine of Discovery, a tyrant intruded upon the Land of Plenty and took everything claiming it belonged to him. In the process, the tyrant broke the goddess’s bowl.
The tyrant, in the meantime, fathered many children. He told how his actions had been for the betterment of the Land of Plenty and minimized the harm he caused.
But when some of the tyrant’s children learned the truth, they took items no longer used from their closets and added money to compensate for the harm their father had caused. But they were astounded when the ones harmed said, “Thanks, but we want everything back that the tyrant stole from us.” The tyrant’s children could not do that for they benefited from their father’s theft.
“We know,” said a few who understood about the broken bowl upon which the goddess of prosperity, well-being, and harmony was dependent. “We will remake the bowl.” But they failed because pieces were missing along with the glue to hold it together. They were disheartened.
But then good news: The Indigenous ones to the Land of Plenty had the missing pieces, the glue, and knowledge about how the pieces fit together. They graciously reached out to the tyrant’s children who sought reconciliation. Together they remade the bowl so that they all prospered and healed to live in harmony.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
– Lilla Watson, Murri visual artist, activist and academic, born in 1940
Fear not. Be humble. Have faith. Be bold. Build relationships. Do justice.