Christine Ravenis

Snapshot of a different world view.

The presentation by Christine Ravenis was about looking at the world from a different point of view. She began the presentation by acknowledging her privilege and sharing a little about herself. Christine, who cares about social justice and the environment, said that although she is from San Diego, her heart lies in the north.

At the beginning of her presentation, she talked about manifest destiny, which is the idea of a society, in this case Europe, believing that it is their divine right to go forth and “civilize” the world by spreading their culture and worldview. The point of her presentation was that we all have value and that we all have something to bring to the table. By sharing a story about a muskrat who saved the earth from a flood, she showed that, contrary to the belief of the other animals, the muskrat had something to offer, just like we all have something to offer. We are all important. Even if our value isn’t on the surface, which in most cases it isn’t.

Our country, Canada, has existed for 150 years, a lot of really good things and ideas have sprouted from it. However, there are a lot of problems in our country; Christine summarized it as 150 years of white supremacist practices. While this is an over-generalization, she raised some very important points. Canada has been a country for 150 years, and Indigenous people have lived here for 500 000 years. 500 000 years is a lot of time, and a lot of knowledge could be created over this time. We should recognize that there are many ways to look at the world and just because something doesn’t fit into a western worldview doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

For example, she told us about the use of the scent pouch of a skunk as a treatment for influenza. While skunk medicine isn’t a part of western medicine, it apparently works. Her presentation was accompanied by furs which she passed around, telling us about their respective importances.

Finally, her presentation ended with a video titled The Lie We Live, which was anti-capitalist and appealed to the viewer’s emotion showing images of animals being slaughtered and stated that we need to work together to create a better world.

Her presentation is important because it focused on the need for respect and acknowledgement. We may not agree with everyone and we might not see value in their opinions, but if we all respect each other, healthy dialogue can be had.

Finishing with the powerful quote, “be the change you want to see in the world.” Although a little over the top, her message was very important and necessary for our generation.



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