Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Telling My Ancestor's "Settler Stories"

I believe in the power of story and the importance of telling family stories for future generations. Family narratives can aid in building resilience in children especially the stories about the hard stuff endured by our ancestors (like "we came here with nothing"). Hearing about our ancestor's setbacks and losses (and how they got through them) can be a "secret super power" for our children when they have to overcome some inevitable obstacle in their life.

I have been struggling to find a way to write the story about our settler ancestors in the context of the first nations people. Our present day awareness and important ongoing dialogues flowing from the 2009 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. make this an important and necessary part to include with our family history narratives. I want to show how the first nations existed and interacted with our ancestors ..... But how to do that with pure intentions, honor and respect?

To start, I have collected settler stories from various Essex and Kent county pioneers during the same time period of our ancestor's first arrival in Ontario.