PAVING THE ROAD AHEAD
I found Lisa Bird-wilson’s piece, “Once and Future Prairie,” (Geist 107) to be insightful, sensitive and timely. I was pleased to read the book on which it was based, Towards a Prairie Atonement by Trevor Herriot, because it provides us with an important piece of our history that I and many others have been woefully unaware of. The first step toward any reconciliation is awareness. Another step is to pay attention to the nuances and subtleties of language and good intentions. What may seem like subtle differences are not so to those who have been affected or harmed. I cringe when I think of my own stumblings over the years—done with good intentions. I’m a fan of Herriot’s writing and was surprised by the “Afterword by Norman Fleury” written on the cover. Surely Fleury could have been given more credit, as Bird-wilson suggests in her thoughtful writing. One word can make a difference. Yes, we still have more to learn and a long way to go.