Identity is who we are, the way we think about ourselves, the way we are viewed by the world and the characteristics that define us. Elements of our identity are not discovered simultaneously. And for some, searching for identity is challenged by cultural erasure, false narratives and colonization.
“African diasporic people have been exploring the oceans long before Europeans and as such, Indigenous and Black people interacted long before European contact. Indigenous and African diasporic peoples exchanged in trade. They exchanged goods, cultures, and customs. We know this from the archeological record that can connect Egypt and other parts of the African continent to South America, and North America. We need to know and understand our history, from our perspective and not from a limited white-settler perspective,” says Ciann Wilson, Assistant Professor in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University and Principal Investigator for the Proclaiming Our Roots project. “When we leave our education of ourselves and our past to the deeply entrenched lies and revisionist history colonists tell and re-tell, we are bound to the limits of their version of our humanity and our possible futures,” says Ciann.