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Land and Language

Importance of knowing who you are
Kirsten Wirsz

Kwantlen Polytechnic University


In tracing my ancestral roots back to both my maternal and paternal line, I was able to learn more about my heritage. In learning this, I feel more connected to who I am and how this has been influenced by where I originated from. For instance, the food I eat, the holidays I celebrate, as well as my cultural practices are all influenced by my heritage. Till this day, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, as this is how it is done traditionally in the German culture. There are many other practices that are unique to my cultural background that influence both my actions and sense of self. Living in what is colonially referred to as "Canada," I am able to freely experience and connect to my heritage. However for Indigenous peoples this is not always as easy. Indigenous relationships to their land and culture are continually disrupted by colonialist powers attempting to eradicate Indigenous peoples and their connections to their land (Monchalin, 2016). Furthermore, "Canada" is based on colonialism and the settlers taking of Indigenous lands. This understanding of "Canada" as settler society that speaks English and French excludes Indigenous peoples and this reinforces efforts to erase Indigenous peoples.

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Cover Art by: Brandon Gabriel

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