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During the month of June, First Nations University of Canada is offering a free introductory e-learning course. FNU describes the course as follows:

"Nisitohtamowin, which means “understanding” in Cree, is intended to help foster greater understanding of Indigenous perspectives through education, which can lead to stronger relationships and enhanced opportunities for the economy, communities, the environment, and beyond. The course was developed in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action and recommendations on education, with a section that provides an introduction to the legacy and impact of Indian Residential Schools, including a personal account shared by Residential School Survivor and Dene Elder Margaret Reynolds." 

The course can be completed in an hour, although I intentionally took time to go slow and to immerse myself, finishing in closer to 2.5 hours. I felt a range of emotions as I read, watched, and listened. I was confused as to why much of the history of what is now known as Canada was missing from my education growing up. I feel angry about how the Church and education were weapons used to harm so many people. I lament deeply. I feel guilty and remorseful for how I experience privileges by being an immigrant, a newcomer to the land, and now a Canadian citizen, and how the whole process of citizenship glorified a myth of Canadian history. I feel deeply moved to examine my own life in areas where I have yielded to power, rather than collaboration. I'm committed to examining how I live and interact with people in my midst—by listening, being curious, and committing to the process of re-educating myself and leaning into the way of the Cross and the practices of Jesus that are marked by humility and love. 

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

- Encourage your life group or Soul Trio (or any group you regularly meet with, like a support group or a book club) to review the content together. Take turns reading the content aloud during your regularly scheduled meeting time, and offer space for reflections. Plan for your time together to go over a little bit, and see that as a gift.  

- Invite people in your household to learn with you, and come together after you have completed the course to share what you learned. 

- Share this course on Social Media after you have taken it, and add a line or two about what you learned and how you feel.

- Write a prayer of thanksgiving.

- Write a prayer of lament.

- Connect with others and pray together. 

- Commit to learning: