"I'm Indigenous, I do what I want" - Karen says while caught stealing from neighbors

I have an interesting story about an encounter I had when I was in like grade 1.

You know those dome shaped climbing structures that're made up of pentagons? I never played on them much but I said fooey I'm gonna go play on them today. Well, this girl who was 4 years older than I was didn't like me on there and told me to get off of it because she "reserved" it. I told her that I didn't understand how she could reserve a play thing in a playground, and she told me it was 'cause she lived on a reserve, so she could reserve whatever she wanted, and all of her friends backed her up and I think this was the first time I ever experienced any kind of racism as her friends "backing her up" was actually them calling me whitey and to get the fuck out of their land 'cause it wasn't mine.

I was shocked, I was sad, and I had no idea what I did to deserve that. Idk why this has stuck with me all these years but I still remember those girls faces, and the hate they had for me, and I was 6. I didn't even know race was a thing. I took part in pow wows, my whole school did. It was one of the sickest things hearing the drumming and singing, and I even got to try the drum that one of the elders had made.

After that day though, I wondered if they all felt that way towards me just because of the colour of my skin. I moved a couple years later to a community that was literally half reserve. Id bike around with my friends around town, but I'd see that venom in some people's eyes when we were on reserve land. No one ever said anything, and maybe I was just imagining it, but the looks I saw brought me back to that some playground thing.

Since growing up I've done my best to respect, and even support our towns elders as best as I could. My mom worked in the hospital as a manager of some sort, and I'd get to visit them and I like to think they enjoyed the company, and I never saw that look from them. They told me stories of how vicious the residential schools were, how brutally horrific the people who "ran" the schools were. I gained real perspective as to why I got those looks, but I didn't understand still, 'cause it's not like I did it. I didn't hurt those girls and boys like they did. I didn't make them want home so bad that they were willing to risk their lives swimming through the rapids to try to get home. But I understood why they hated the people that did, because no one deserved that.

I don't know why I felt the need to share this with you guys, let alone anyone, but I hope that this prompts someone to look into Residential Schools, and how truly awful they were, and how the last one was still running until 1996.

I don't want people to spread hate anymore, especially with all of the awful things that're happening still to this day. I know that's asking way too much, but I like to believe that it won't take much to bring everyone the peace and justice they deserve.

Stay safe, be kind <3

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