New Beginnings

January 13, 2012

There is snow on the ground in Toronto today. It’s the first proper snowfall of an unusually warm winter. It’s been a over a month since my last blog post and lots has happened. We welcomed a new member, a son, to our family. Born in December, he has quickly become the center of attention. And now that I’m settling into some sort of routine with him, I have a moment (however fleeting) to reflect on some of the ways in which our new addition has already influenced my research.

I attended the last two national gatherings (in Halifax and Inuvik) while pregnant. Listening to the difficult testimonies of children taken from their parents, I had a lot of time to reflect on how heart-wrenching this would be. Faced with imagining something that seemed unimaginable, the strength of those giving their testimonies became even more clear. Whether they were the child taken or the parent left behind, they spoke of the heartache of losing their families.

I’ve written in the past about the challenges of writing about testimony, about how to write about the pain (or strength, anger and resilience) of others while trying to avoid appropriating their voices. I am now also reflecting on finding my own voice as a researcher, a settler, a student, and as a mother in negotiating Canada’s colonial past.

I have wondered whether I should mention the birth of my son on this blog. I have wondered whether I should keep the more personal details of my life out of this public space. But I have realized that this research is constantly shaped by these personal aspects and that keeping them in the margins leads to an incomplete picture of how this research is profoundly personal. I don’t know yet how some of these personal reflections will make it into the dissertation,  but one of the reasons I started the blog was to wonder aloud about the research process and its challenges.

2012 is undoubtedly going to be a year of many changes and many adventures. Wishing you all a happy and productive new year.

3 Responses to “New Beginnings”

  1. maylene Says:

    beautifully put. (strategically written between feedings and baby naps?)

  2. jb Says:

    Thanks for this post Naomi.

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