Critical theorists and people who do critical praxis work do hard work that must be valued.
Often times when a settler person does something offensive to an Indigenous person and they are ‘blessed’ with learning a hard lesson, they become embarrassed and angry at learning the lesson resulting in them running in the direction of another Indigenous person, being especially nice. So much so, that they do whatever this second Indigenous person needs or wants as it is their way of gaining atonement for their offensive bad behaviour with the first Indigenous person. The short story is that the second Indigenous person’s gain is reactionary and at the very expense of the first Indigenous person’s pain.
Fortunately, many Indigenous and settler people are waking up realizing that these settler atonement actions do not manifest through a genuine allyship effort, but rather the settler’s reactionary response to a hard lesson learned and that they brought on by themselves due to ignorance. They know better than to immediately trust these reactionary settler people.
We need to respect the hard work of critical praxis workers and stop judging them. Otherwise we risk the potential that more and more people will opt to remain quite because they are judged harshly while other people benefit from their hard work.
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Lynn Gehl, Ph.D. is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley. She has a section 15 Charter challenge regarding the continued sex discrimination in The Indian Act, and is an outspoken critic of the Ontario Algonquin land claims and self-government process. She has three books: Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts, The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin of the Algonquin Land Claims Process, and Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada's Colonial Process through Black Face Methodology. You can reach her through, and see more of her work at www.lynngehl.com.