First Nations and Disabilities


Let's talk about ableism.

I am ableist. It is a term I started to become aware of a few years ago. I had hurriedly reviewed the meaning of the term. It was the language used that excluded people with disabilities. At the time I did not internalize it or connect to the meaning.

This year is when I (2020) was called an ableist. So it was confusing to me because I truly felt that I was not intentionally being ableist. A few even began to call me out because an albeist post offended them. Rightfully so.

Some people who were 'calling me out' were white - of course not all were white. However some felt I brushed their call outs aside by generalizing everyone who criticised me as white. They implied I had said this to avoid accountability.

All of which was a trigger for me. Fight, flight, fawn. It triggered me because this is a First Nations page and to have white people step into this space to cause perceived harm was upsetting. My trauma response was activated.

This week is when shit hit the fan. I was being called out for ableism - for causing harm - it was bewildering. I thought "but this page shares perspectives and some are challenging." Or that was not my intent now or ever.

Then I was like "wait, am I part of the disabled community?"I have trauma, health issues, pain issues, mental health issues etc. I have never felt a part of the "disabled community." So I never felt comfortable exploring the idea that I might be a part of something.

Once I disclosed my disabilities (which felt like I was forced) I was accused of using it as a shield and having "disability internalized shame."

I really had to take a step back. I made a mistake. Now I needed to learn what was meant by ableism. I had to go back to the start and relearn what I thought I already knew.

So it leads me to: what is the First Nations take on disabilities/ableism?

Do I have the right to talk on it now that I realize I am it?

No one provided links or articles about ableism. This is when I began to research a First Nations perspective on disability. This is some of what I found...