An Appeal to White People: Relearning our Concepts of Good Will, Intention, and Inclusion

Cities need to be created and designed by people of good will. Exercising good will is hopeful. It expresses deep belief in reciprocation, co-intentionality, and a shared design of our future.

Canada has a 400-year history of assimilation and Indigenous resistance, which began with the legislated removal of the human rights of the Indigenous peoples living here and the claiming of their land by our ancestors: colonial settlers. This was permanent displacement and genocide for the purpose of gaining territory and resources. As Vancouver-based South Asian activist and writer Harsha Walia has expressed, “Canada’s state and corporate wealth is largely based on subsidies gained from the theft of Indigenous lands and resources.” This pattern continues on two levels. First, until treaties are honoured and Indigenous peoples in Canada can self-determine laws, education, community structure, and governance, the conscious and constructed racism that has subjugated Indigenous peoples will continue as it is written into our country’s bureaucratic policies and corporate agendas. Second, until we as individual members of a colonial culture address our own subconscious suppression of stories and voices through microaggressions that deny, invalidate, alienate, belittle, and dismiss marginalized groups, we remain part of the problem.