It was not unlike many mornings in the office, save for one thing. As I sat sipping my coffee, responding to emails and completing my daily work, a stream of Twitter notifications lit up my screen. I was left thinking: what had I posted that could possibly generate so much interest? New to the whole idea of tweeting while at work, I was a little apprehensive about checking for fear of falling down a rabbit hole. But I did, and quickly realized the traffic was on a Canada Beyond 150 tweet I had made a few weeks back while I was working with my group in Ottawa. A tweet demonstrating a snippet of the ideas that had sprouted from one conversation and that was taken out of context – not an entirely surprising occurrence on Twitter.
— Jennifer Kolz (@jennifer_kolz) September 27, 2017
We had been working late following a full-day workshop on storytelling and learning how to contextualize findings of foresight and design thinking. The team had been discussing experiential activities, with the hope of further immersing ourselves in Indigenous traditions when our group gathered in Winnipeg and again in Ottawa. This stems from the group’s belief that experience must be partnered with dialogue in order to become amplifiers of Indigenous voices. In that regard, the Post Its (referenced in my tweet) were additional possibilities for the already fulsome and holistic 10-month schedule that includes ongoing conversations with Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) people.
As I read through the tweets and replies, I gained a new appreciation of what it meant to be uncomfortable in the dialogue on reconciliation, and to take solace in that disquietude. It reiterated a wisdom that Senator Sinclair shared with me recently, that true reconciliation involves being uncomfortable. This experience also made me feel in a very real and concrete way how social media leaves you completely exposed and vulnerable. So to, it provided me with an even greater insight into the Canada Beyond 150 project, its purpose and, why, how and with whom we are engaging. To have been given that chance to revisit the drawing board, to examine flaws and voids, acknowledge potentially disparate voices while also giving place to learning goals and achievements so far is an incredible gift. I look forward with great anticipation to bringing this learning back to my group and on to the future work of this project as it evolves.