Respect is fundamental to the braiding of the Indigenous/non-Indigenous stories. In this last chapter, we focused on the centre of the Medicine Wheel learning about the fire within, or what is referred to as the self. Skills such as critical reflection, combined with new understandings of the world, challenge us to take responsibility for our actions. What will the future look like? What is our responsibility in developing a new narrative about the relationship between Indigenous/non-Indigenous people of this territory? The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action provide recommendations for change, but it is up to all of us to be part of that change.
Information contained in this open textbook provide a starting point to open the dialogue between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. By providing insight into Indigenous worldview framed in the context of the medicine wheel and sacred teaching, as well as identifying the contributions made by Indigenous peoples, it is hoped that readers will develop new understandings of Indigenous peoples. Through the writing of this open textbook, information was provided that would address many of the misconceptions held by non-Indigenous peoples about Indigenous peoples. The starting place was the history about the people in the Robinson-Huron Territory, specifically Atikameksheng and Wiigwaaskinaga First Nation communities. As we moved around the medicine wheel, we examined how colonization has impacted Indigenous communities, the engagement of First Nation communities in efforts to revitalize traditional culture and ways of being, resistance to continued colonial efforts through the creation of services and programs that reclaimed traditional healing practices, Indigenous governance systems, Indigenous knowledge systems, and Indigenous ways of being. This is evidenced in the growth of programs and services such as the Friendship Centres, Health Centre, Indigenous Child and Family Services organizations, Indigenous Education and Indigenous research. Teachings around the medicine wheel – specifically respect and reason – challenge individuals to think about difference, comprehend that although there is a different philosophies of the world, there isn’t one way of being that is superior to another. Deeper understanding of the world leads to deeper appreciation of one another, thus forming a foundation for Indigenous/non-Indigenous people to create space for reconciliation to occur.