Finding Dawn Film Analysis Essay

This is my personal journey towards dismantling my conceptualized understanding of being a privileged knower into accepting that I am a complete foreigner. Throughout this learning journey, I have uncovered weeds that would impact my anti-oppressive journey path. I will integrate the “Just Practice Framework” principals of “meaning, context, power, history, and possibility” that will guide me along this self exploration journey (Finn & Jacobson, 2003, n. p. ). Deconstructing my social location Mcintosh (1989) describes the oblivious nature of “white” privileges and how these privileges implement dominant discourse (1989, n. . ).

This week, I examined the “context” surrounding my “white privileges” by asking myself how does my class, gender and age influence my social mobility? I realized that the household saying that a day’s worth of work makes a day’s worth of pay is based on the “white privileged” context. I realized that this axiom is a social truth and assumption, everyone is given equal opportunity to succeed. The class I was born into protected these neoliberal attitudes and colonialist ideations. I never had to question or ask why, until I started my practicum placement at AVI. I realized income assistance does not practice this axiom.

A person is cut off from income assistance if they put in too many day’s worth of pay. experienced the protection of “white privileges” during my employ at the Saskatoon Police Service. While working there I noticed that certain people were placed under surveillance because of who they were and who they interacted with, I could walk the streets with relative security knowing that I am hidden and unmarked. My “whiteness” granted me these privileges while protecting me from racial profiling and enabling numb awareness that racism exists.

McIntosh (1989) describes it is hese assumptions that obscure while protecting “white privilege(s)” (McIntosh, 1989, n. p). Exploring my hidden biases: Recognition that various worldviews exist outside my periphery is a necessary first step. The “Just Practice Framework” describes that exploring meaning is practicing curious humility and reminding myself I will have white biased selective hearing and perceptions. I was reminded of a saying, “how can I know what I really don’t know? ” I will never know what it feels like to be the insider of oppression nor can I fully understand and appreciate this type of insider knowledge.

I believe this is what McIntosh (1989) described as raising one’s conscious awareness of being “light skinned” (McIntosh, 1989, np). Westernized notion of “us” and “them” This week I realized the concealed patriarchal standards of ownership. Particularly, objectifying Indigenous women as available and owned property. When I first heard about the Highway of Tears and the Robert Pickton murders my initial reaction was these women were asking for trouble. I realize that my response duplicated Thomkins (2002) description of “blaming the victim” and inadvertently dehumanizing them (p. 06). My attitudes have shifted since I started the social work journey. I realized the profound impact of colonization. I am now coming to terms with grasping how much Indigenous women have and continually face. I realize that poverty, forced social dislocation, and cultural annihilation influence the circumstances Indigenous women have and still face.

The movie Finding Dawn (2006) impacted me on a deeper level, I realized the magnitude of colonization (Welsh, C. , Eriksen, S. -E. , Fraticelli, R. , Ruddell, B. , Wood, J. , Hanuse, B. & National Film Board of Canada). I recognized the impact of “Segregationist Racism” where numbers create a falsified sense of distance while encouraging creating racial space to exist (Zambudio & Rios, 2006, p. 493). The Finding Dawn teaching guide encourages viewers to reflect on “what is a number? ” (Blaney, 2009, p. 2). I realize that numbers create a categorical assumption of quantity over quality, thus creating and artificial distance. I can only recognize and respect the depth of violence Indigenous women have and still face today.

I can recognize that the past experiences Indigenous women had to face will influence their current situation. Instead of classifying their experience as a number taking an active role in challenging social assumptions will be an important piece to bring into practice. I believe the “Just Practice Framework” encourages exploring history instead of making social assumptions is a necessary to the practice of social justice (Finn & Jacobson, 2003). Peacekeeper or Piecemeal: Regan (November 22, 2006) in her address at Royal Roads University describes that uncomfortability of “Unsettling the Settler within” (n. ).

This concept was shared by Maracle (2004) when describing lifting and examining the contents underneath the rocks of the “shared common garden” (2004, p. 208). The Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village “workshop | attended further built upon this concept. I realized the fallacy associated to the term “mutual understanding”. One elder shared, that the colonizer took away the “we” and formed a “me” based society and this is where the fallacy of “mutual understanding” started.

The “Just Practice Framework” describes the importance of associating meaning in relation to the client (Finn J. & Jacobson, M. 2003). I realized that power trumps “mutual understanding” when I attended a treaty negotiation meeting in Campbell River. Maracle (2004) describes treaty negotiations brings with it, a sort of lost pain associated to ancestry and lost traditions (p. 216). Thave recognized that my understanding of the law has shifted. I will bring into practice active skepticism towards legislative practices and policies instead of adopting a passive response.

I can recognize how power is felt differently and viewed differently from person to person. As well, power can be reproduced with the language we use. Acknowledging the “Standardized” fallacy Christjohn & Young (1997) describe “Pathologizing” is a band aid treatment that recreates the colonized story of all for one — one for all (p. 4). Also, Sinclair (2004) encourages that a necessary process towards forming a “Decolonizing Pedagogy” is to critique “intergenerational trauma” through an open lens instead of a fixed westernized medical lens of treat and release (p. 7).

My partner’s band introduced cultural healing practice into their mental health programs and services. The band has demonstrated what “reframing and renaming” new possibilities would be like, cultural healing practices (Finn & Jacobson, 2003, n. p. ) Cornassel & Holder (2008), describe the that the paradox of an apology, just words or grace without intent, otherwise called a “cheap apology” (p. 4). I realized that the wording “sorry” can be used to gloss over harm that has been done. I think that is what is meant by the word “cheap”.

I am a member of the Community Justice Centre and we stress that an apology goes beyond the words. An apology has to demonstrate intent to repair the harm. After talking to an elder in the community | realized that the public apology and Truth and Reconciliation have done little to repair the harm of colonization. She was denied the Residential School compensation on behalf of her father since she missed the deadline. I realized the impact of governmental power and how this type of power continues to impact Indigenous lives.

I realize the word “apology” was used to standardize Indigenous stories. I realize that collaborating with Indigenous people(s), practicing curious humbleness, and experiencing the necessary uncomfortability of not knowing is a necessary step towards decolonizing oneself. Throughout this journey, I felt anger towards the injustices Indigenous people face, sadness for what was lost, and powerless over change. I realized this journey will be an ongoing process, is a necessary part of social work, and part of the decolonizing journey.