This weekend I am in Toronto for a workshop on reducing stigma and building capacity. It is a pretty interesting workshop and I love that I am able to attend. The one thing that I realized today, even with my lived experiences, is that I can’t and won’t know everything.
Last year I spent a lot of time conversing with individuals about Aboriginal issues or how to enhance the Indigenous student experience on campus. At times I would think, “Why is this person talking to me?” or “Why would this person think that I could possibly give them an answer?” It wasn’t that I didn’t know anything about being an Indigenous student or an Indigenous person facing Indigenous issues. I just felt that I knew people who were more competent at answering the questions they had. Sometimes I didn’t even have answer. I would just straight up tell them “I don’t know” and usually people become frustrated with that answer. However, it is completely okay to say I don’t know and even in fact more acceptable than trying to act like you know.
This workshop is helping me to realize that I have the abilities to talk with confidence about what I do know, and acknowledge those experiences in which I have no experience in but tactfully address questions so those asking can have a sense of satisfaction/acknowledgement. It is a great learning experience and I am so ever thankful for being here especially with all the wonderful people I have met thus far.