My name is Thich’ala (Ace Harry), I’m from χʷɛmaɬku and I grew up in t̓išosəm, which is ɬaʔəmen territory. My parents are Qwastånayå (L. Maynard Harry) and Jeh’jeh’ganak (Katrin Harry). I recently completed a two-year diploma known as the International Baccalaureate and here’s why I’m taking a year to work with the ABM Network:
As soon as I got involved with some activist work early this year, it became obvious to me that reconciliation requires direct action and direct action requires careful and critical thought.
Canada wasn’t built to accommodate Indigenous needs or prosperity. In fact, for the majority of Canada’s existence, Indigenous prosperity has actively impeded colonial standards of ‘progress’. For many reasons, including what I just mentioned, I value decolonization and political resurgence for every single Indigenous group in so-called Canada. I have all sorts of dreams about what an ideal Canada would look like, but there are dreams and then there are plans.
I intend to use everything at my disposal to be of benefit to my community and other Indigenous communities. The Advanced Business Match is one of those things at my disposal.
Since I was 12, I’ve watched the people involved in ABM use economic power to create positive change. Regardless of what I think theoretically would be the economic system to create my ideal version of Canada, we have a system in place right now and it needs to become functional for Indigenous peoples. That’s the value I see in ABM.
Indigenous values could not be farther from capitalism and that makes it incredibly hard to accept it as a way of life. But it is a reality and it must be accommodated, as the way Indigenous people live right now is not acceptable. That is what makes the ABM Network so remarkable; ABM has shown me that, in colonial Canada, Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks can come together in honesty-based partnerships geared towards the inherent benefit of every party involved. That is the definition of an Indigenous way of being.
I look forward to an exchange of ideas and perspectives with all of you.
Thich’ala (Ace Harry)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-414-5381