If you’ve been in my Indigenous and Canadian Literatures class, it was a pleasure and an honour for me to be part of your university studies. I hope that these years have deepened your love of reading, thinking, and writing. As an English major, you are especially attuned to the ways that language, narrative, ideology matter. And here you are, graduating in a moment of historic upheaval. You will read the world and decide how to act in it, on the basis of this formation, these years immersed in the study of representations. What seems super pertinent now is that refrain from the Thomas King story about different creation stories and how they orient us to the world. There’s Homo Economicus, the rational pursuer of interests, and then there’s that other story about care and inter-species dependency, with the woman Thomas King calls “Charm,” falling from the sky. You may recall he concludes his story this way: “To every action there is a story. Take Charm’s story, for instance. It’s yours. Do with it what you will. Tell it to friends. Turn it into a television movie. Forget it. But don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”
Well done, graduates. I hope you can hear us clapping!