History Matters: Especially the Difficult Parts – How do the Colonized who became Colonizers become Allies?

Map of Nova Scotia made in 1755 by provincial chief surveyor Charles Morris (British Library via Flickr under public domain)

 Is Cudromach Eachdraidh: gu seachd araid na pàirtean troma.
Ciamar a nithear na tuinichean a bhith nan caraidean
a bha a fuiling tuineachadh roimhe?

History Matters: Especially the Difficult Parts
How do the colonized who became colonizers become allies?

Didòmhnaich, 3mh An Dàmhair 2021
Sunday, 3 October 2021
2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT
An online conversation between
Òmar Bhochanan

Gàidhlig teacher and activist from Cape Breton
Scott Morrison

Co-founder and Head of School (Ceannard na Sgoile) of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir
Free event but registration is required. Register below

We are excited to announce episode three of Facing Our History – The North American Gael. This is the first episode where our guest comes from a Gàidhealtachd; in this case the Nova Scotia Gàidhealtachd. To date, the Facing Our History series has examined the colonization and oppression of the Gael and their dispersal in North America from a national and cultural perspective, and from an economic or class perspective. In this session, we move to examine the legacy of settler colonialism and its impact on the Gael.

Join us as we welcome Òmar Bhochanan | Amber Buchanan.

Òmar Photo“ . . .  the reclamation of one’s ancestral language and culture has the power to transform and connect us to ourselves, one another, our ancestors, the earth and the greater web of life.” ~ Òmar Bhochanan 

Òmar is a partner and consultant in Inside Out, a Gàidhlig and yoga teacher, a weaver, and a Gaelic activist.  She  lives on the Bras d’Or lake in Grass Cove, Mi’kma’ki | Cape Breton Island with her 12 year old daughter Sadie. She’s been working toward her own healing and her Gàidhlig community’s healing from colonization for the past 15 years.  Amber teaches Gàidhlig language and traditional cultural practices both in community and at Baile Nan Gàidheal | Highland Village Museum. Òmar has also been building connections with Gaels and Cape Breton’s Indigenous people, the Mi’kmaq, noticing similarities and celebrating uniqueness with the intention to forge peace, friendship and collective resilience. 

In the only surviving Gaelic settlement in North America, we see in a modern context the effect of colonialism and imperialism on a people’s historical narrative, their culture, and their relationship with the land and Indigenous people.  In this unique conversation,  we will obtain a first person view point from someone living in the Nova Scotia Gàidhealtachd about that community’s historical, environmental, and cultural impact on the region, and their efforts to redress relationships with Indigenous nations. 

In July 1980, Indigenous activist John Trudell, speaking at the International Survival Gathering on a South Dakota prairie said:  “We must become of a resistance consciousness. We must say that, “We will not allow you to smash us, even if it means that we have to deal with that part of you that you planted in me . . . “

As Trudell pointed out, none of us escape the influence of the society in which we live. Colonialism, race, and class affect us all.  The conversation between Scott Morrison and Òmar Bhochanan will delve into the importance of unlearning historical narratives that contribute to injustices and that shape our communities and ourselves, and reweaving narratives that allow Gaelic culture to contribute to a future premised on justice. What does communal decolonizing look like? Join us and perhaps we will learn some of that answer together.

As Facing Our History explores the history of the Gaelic struggle for survival, and strives to remove colonial ideology from Scottish Gaelic history, the underlying question is the same: What insights does that give us for our past and how does it help us shape a path forward today?

imageScott Morrison is co-founder and Head of School (Ceannard na Sgoile) of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir.  Scott is a former Vice-President and President of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach  (The American Scottish Gaelic Society).  He holds a B.A. in Gaelic Language and Culture from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. Scott is also an accomplished musician.

Register Below! / Clàraich gu h-ìosal!

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