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Personal History
I am Elisa Yae-Na Lee, born on February 24th in the year of 1994. In my family, I have my father, my mother, and two younger brothers. At the start of this course, I came in with very little to no knowledge about the land(s) we have resided on. As Haig-Brown (2009) states, “if we take seriously anyone’s responsibility to consider whose traditional land they dwell in, we might begin with ourselves” (p. 4). To start, both of my parents came to Canada from Seoul, South Korea at a young age. They both lived in Toronto, Ontario, in which they have resided on the traditional territory of the Ojibway and the Mississauga’s of the New Credit. My family and I have lived in the city of London, Ontario ever since I was born. Together, we have resided on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg (which includes the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatami Nations), Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois people or Six Nations which includes Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscorora),  and the Attawandaron (Neutral) peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. To my knowledge, my family and I have not used or benefitted from treaty rights.
In my past and present time of residing on this land, I have never thought extensively about having connections to land and place. My way of seeing land is that, it has a physical and cultural connection. In the physical aspect, land connects us all to one another and it brings a sense of unity with one another. There is a feeling of being a part of a large community, not just with the people next to us, but as well as those who are distances apart. Similarly, land brings in various cultures and it allows us to embrace and learn the diversity that is among us. This creates a sense of identity and unity with those we connect with. 
I characterize my worldview based on values and ethics. Most of my values are learned and gathered through my family, friends, and experience. I see the world as a place that should be taken care of while we are present. We need to be taking care of our world in order for us all to strive and to continue having an active role in society with one another. Being aware, knowing how to be respectful, and being grateful are all things I truly believe in. We as citizens of this world have a role in appreciating what we have as resources and acknowledging each other’s presence. 
Colonialism has affected everyone in some way or another. For myself, colonialism has benefitted me in my life. Governments within the northern region of Canada, have provided support to businesses/industries to extract resources, which in turn benefit the economies in the south (which includes myself and many others). On a daily basis, thanks to the government and its policies (such as economic policies), I continue to benefit from various resources, living conditions, education, employment, and food security. Colonialism continues to benefit my life in ways that are incomparable to those in Indigenous communities. 

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Education History
For the first ten years of schooling, most of my experiences were driven by social and cultural forces. Being educated at a young age allowed me to take in everything with an open-mind. I was more vulnerable in my early years of being educated, in which I was more willing to accept and go with the general flow of what was being taught and what was being said. Thinking back, I did not have my own voice in school and I would say that I was not aware of many things due to the fact that I was influenced by my own naivety.
As I grew older and attended high school and then university, I was more influenced by my faith. Growing in my faith has allowed me to take on a different mindset and be a part of a social community that was much different from my earlier years of education. I felt a little less restricted and more open to having my own opinions, which meant that I found my own voice. From one influence to the next, I grew to be more critical and reflective about the education I received. I never questioned about my education until as of recent, especially about Aboriginal education. I kept asking myself, “if my schools and classes acknowledged and learned about Indigenous peoples in a mindful way, how different would things be now? Would it be different at all?” The elementary and secondary schools I have attended, never acknowledged the territory of Indigenous peoples on which they operated. I do recall learning about the history about the Aboriginals, but not to a great extent and certainly not to the point of acknowledgement. I would say that education has been a colonizing experience for me because of the lack of education (of Indigenous peoples and communities) I received from my schools. For myself, it was always taught at a surface level, in which it felt that there was very little significance with no time of reflection on the history and impact. Overall, my education, or my lack of education, has definitely payed a role in my understanding and knowledge about Indigenous peoples. I have learned that there is so much history and a significance to learning about Indigenous peoples and communities. The more we know, the better we can understand their concerns and those who have been affected, and if we take some initiative in acknowledging who has been here before us, we can become more mindful citizens.

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