Have you asked yourself what reconciliation means to you? What does it mean to your organization? Your family? For many, reconciliation has a deeply personal meaning, borne from our own history and knowledge.
I am a professional fundraiser and, in the fall of 2021, I opened a virtual fundraising school called The New School of Fundraising. It was very important to me to consider how my school could participate in the reconciliation movement that is happening within Canada but my drive for that came from a deeply personal connection.
My Grandmother attended residential school from the age of three until she was eighteen. She did not leave at all during that time. I once read an excerpt from an interview where she spoke about watching the birds outside and wishing that she had wings so that she could fly away. The only thing is that even if she had wings, she had nowhere to fly to, nowhere to go. She spoke very little of those years and our family always respected her privacy and wishes.
As a result of the extended time that my Grandmother spent in residential school my family had absolutely no connection to our culture, everything had been lost. It has taken me a long time to realize and fully appreciate what has been lost to myself and my family. I have spoken a lot about my own journey of “finding my way home” and as such, created a workshop for the school, titled Indigenous Protocols for Fundraisers, that would help myself and others on the journey. [Read more…]