Medium Short: Understanding & Changing

Individual and shared action on the path to Truth and Reconciliation (aka not a day off)

B. Lorraine Smith

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This is me holding myself to account on our Truth & Reconciliation journey. I feel weird posting a selfie but it feels wrong to post something “Indigenous-looking” — settlers have co-opted enough Indigenous art for one lifetime. It feels like time to show up with what I have to offer: openness to understanding and changing.

Welcome to the latest weekly Medium Short, an accountability practice to keep me semi-tethered along the unmarked trail of industrial healing. I make all of my articles (including those linked here) available for free with this unglamorous searchable table of contents.

I say these Friday updates are my “accountability practice”. What does it mean to be accountable on Canada’s national day for Truth & Reconciliation — a statutory holiday, no less? I do not feel capable of answering this question well, yet I do feel committed to holding myself to account in my role as a Canadian, and as a person working in collaboration with global industry.

To paraphrase Christine McDougall, this is me owning being slightly unqualified and doing my best to step up. Since you’re here, I invite you to walk alongside. I welcome feedback, criticism, and guidance from all quarters.

Walking the path

We are on a journey towards truth and reconciliation and we have a long way to go. This is true here where I live, and far beyond. I’ll comment on two stepping stones I find my feet feeling their way along on this long and winding path.

  1. Individual understanding — a basic, “What happened?” Filling in gaps. “Oh. I didn’t know this. Now I do.” There is still a remarkable amount of work to do on this, both to have awareness of basic facts as well as to see our own roles in the continued erasure of these facts, in myself and others. We could call this part of “Truth”.
  2. Collective action — essentially, “Knowing this, what do we do differently now?” There is an infinite array of answers to this. Because I have expertise working with large industry, I focus my answers on transforming industry, and I share some of what I see needing to change. We could call this part of “Reconciliation”.

I work on these two areas — as a human and a professional — as transparently as I can, as I go. Today I offer some findings gathered on my own journey.

Individual understanding

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B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/