Because it is nearing the end of the semester, and I will be posting my final post some time today, I have decided to release a series of updates on how my active citizenship pledge has been progressing. To make a long story short, it hasn’t been going as well as I had planned. At the start of this semester, I made a lot of plans for my pledge, and as the semester went on, I found it harder to keep up with my pledge, but also harder to find time for it. Not because I didn’t try, but rather because there was always something “more important” that needed to get done. It’s odd to say that there are things more important than being an engaged citizen – I mean, part of the idea is that you are participating and being an active part of society. In terms of being human, that is one of the most important things you can do in my opinion.
However, for whatever reason, I found this particular task became increasingly difficult to dedicate time to. Between projects for other classes, and what has felt like ongoing sickness for the last month, my participation in this has not been at a level that I planned for. Perhaps my feelings are due to the fact that I set goals too high for me to reach in the beginning. Perhaps my original pledge was too ambitious to begin with, and as I went on, I constantly added different elements, eventually overwhelming me.
At this point, I can say I have not been as active in my pledge as I would have like in the last month. But, that is not to say I haven’t been planning for what I am going to do after this class is over. Ultimately, I made this pledge because I felt it was important for myself as a citizen, but also as a future educator. To recall, my pledge originally involved becoming more knowledgeable about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report so I could be a better educator. However, as time went on, I found it harder to take part in my pledge, and easier to get absorbed in other projects for this class and others. Many parts of my pledge have gone unfulfilled as of yet, but here is a small plan for how I will reach the goals of my pledge in the future.
Reading the TRC’s report. This document is quite long, but it contains the stories of those impacted by Residential Schools. In my opinion it is important to become familiar with these to some extent, and at least to try and read some of it. As the document itself is quite long, I have decided that the most effective way for me to read it is to have it saved to my desktop. This is opposed to having a print copy as it would be a lot of paper to print out.
Becoming familiar with the TRC’s Calls to Action. This one is a little easier for me to do, as it involves reading the Calls to Action, and coming up with ways of how I might implement one or more of them in my classroom. This idea was further strengthened by Aaron Warner’s 100 Days of Cree presentation, in which he did the same thing.
Becoming more active with UR S.T.A.R.S. Unfortunately, for much the same reason I was too busy to post and to do other parts of my pledge, I was unable to be more active with the UR S.T.A.R.S. group. In the New Year, I want to try and pay more attention to the emails and events, however, I feel like this may be one part of my pledge I will have to let go of while I am still a student due to my hectic schedule inside and outside of school.
Finally, writing letters to politicians and people of importance. This is definitely something I want to look into doing, however the obstacles I have faced including writer’s block, and lack of time, have prevented me from doing so as of yet. Some modifications I plan to make is to address primarily the leaders of the federal parties, to get a better idea of how they might steer their platforms in the future. I would like to know how each major candidate plans on actively working towards reconciliation, and to ask them in a direct letter seems the best way to do that.
Although my pledge has not progressed how I would have liked to this point, I look forward to renewing my commitment past the end of this course and into the future.