As I now have a job and am in a place where I converse regularly with a number of Aboriginal scholars, my language continues to shift.
Yesterday (March 14th, 2008) I presented this research in a small seminar at our College of Education. Confident of the support of a few of my new colleagues, I spoke explicitly of porosity, and the kinds of cross-border conversations that occurred in the process of creating this dissertation. The veil was beginning to lift.
Although I recognize the need to be multi-lingual in my speech as I continue to constitute myself as legitimate and appropriate scholar, to reach my audience where they are at, and to recognize the limits of understanding of some of the processes used herein, I speak with more and more openness and less fear.
Yet as I said to the three Aboriginal colleagues standing beside me after the presentation, I could not have been so open without their presence and our many conversations leading up to the seminar presentation. Alone, I could (would?) not have spoken – at least not so soon. Their presence in the academy and their personal support for this research allows me to feel much more comfortable speaking about this project. It also helps me use the word 'spirit' more freely.