My greatest fear in stepping into the reconciliation circle has been confirmed and I have caused an offence. As I become aware of an ancestry that puts my skin into the same ring as a colonial government, it is difficult to know how to participate without being perceived as appropriating, how to respect without being perceived as “trying to rescue” and how to bring awareness without being perceived as advocating with my own voice over Aboriginal voices.
I wholeheartedly apologize that the work of my hands has caused distress or other form of maltreatment to the 6 women that I named receiving blankets for. It was the exact opposite of my intent, which originated in an attempt to honour and respect. I misjudged my contribution, and not asking for their expressed and written consent was an inadvertent misstep.
May today, International Women’s Day, be the very foundation for mutual respect, dovetailed efforts, and peace that is so critical for tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come.