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I'm white. My ancestors came from various northern European countries. I'm Canadian. I'm Anglophone. The only box I've ever needed to check on government documents is not First Nations, Inuit or Metis.

I grew up in a small town with almost no racial variation. Nearly everyone was white. There were a handful of families with Japanese heritage. Most of their parents or grandparents had been victims of the forced relocation and internment camps of WW2. Many such camps were located near my home town. After the war, they had nothing to go back too. Their homes and businesses had been confiscated. So many of them stayed. As a child, I don't remember them being treated differently than anyone else. They seemed just like us. I wonder now though how their view might differ from mine. After all they were "like every one else" because they had become more "white" not because we had become more Japanese. I am, and have always been proud of my community though. They were among the first in Canada to acknowledge that the internment camps had even happened and had apologized and made a memorial for the injustice long before our Federal Government did anything.

There was a strong dividing line in our town though. Hippies and Loggers. Tree huggers and locals (no matter how long you had lived there, environmentalist minded people weren't considered local by the more conservative families.) My family was of the hippy variety. I remember kids at school saying things like "take a bath, dirty hippy" (we were always clean) or "your dad is trying to take away my dads job" So even though I have the "dominant skin tone" I've never felt part of the dominant culture.

I'm now living in an area with a large, vibrant Native population. It's been really interesting to live for a while in a place where people look at me and see a skin tone. Of corse I know my skin tone is attached to privilege but it's been an eye opener none the less.

I'm really looking forward to taking part in this workshop. I feel so ignorant about other races.
 
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