Tom Swanky, B.A. (hons.), J.D., is a life-long student of political philosophy (ancient, modern and non-western), the use of power, political rhetoric, Canadian government and history, especially of the Pacific shelf during the transition from indigenous sovereignty to the imposition of British institutions.

Who are you? No one can answer this question without knowing how he or she arrived at his or her current location, the forces around at that location and the path he or she would prefer to take from here. It is all very well to sanctify the founding of the regime in which we live, or to have national pride, but we do a disservice to our children when we mislead them about the true nature of the path by which we arrived here.

Do you want to feel that your national pride is justified? Imagine how much greater your nation if, rather than blindly accepting glorious myths about its nature, its citizens were notorious for their tolerance, civility, rigorous national self-examination, a willingness to undertake the work and gladly to pay the price for healing hurts, and a practice of seeing power used disproportionately for the benefit of those more disadvantaged by previous policies or misfortune.

Tom says that among the many things life seems to be trying to teach us is that good spirits have an affinity for seeking truth, finding beauty and doing justice.

I am grateful for everyone who has arrived here. Only good spirits come this far. We have arrived at a place where there is an invisible wall dividing the experience enjoyed by non-indigenous Canadians from that endured by our indigenous neighbours. Ignorance, denial and fear built this wall.

As long as we allow it to hinder our freedom, children on both sides will be disadvantaged, though in different ways. You are a hammer. Use the chisel I have fashioned here if you like. Smash this wall. Let all our children catch up to where they should be. It is both the right and wise thing to do.

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