Interview with Siomonn Pulla – Past Injustices, Current Realities

Dr. Siomonn Pulla is an Associate Professor in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads, Canada. He is committed to innovative interdisciplinary research and teaching, with an emphasis on seeking solutions to real world issues. His primary focus is on participatory and collaborative research, corporate-Indigenous relations and new and emerging learning systems.

In this interview, Pulla discusses the unique role residential schools have played in recent Canadian memory politics. He notes that debates around the impacts of colonialism in Canada have been amplified, particularly after the numerous discoveries of missing children’s gravesites. Many different individuals and institutions are now posing and answering questions on what the residential schools mean for the past, present, and future of Canada. In response, Pulla suggests that a “careful and continuous commemoration” is needed to weave together the nuances of different community responses.

More fundamentally, Pulla stresses that commemoration takes time, and cannot be achieved through political shortcuts and media soundbites. Understanding intergenerational trauma requires listening and learning from human stories. To this end, education plays a critical role.

This interview is part of the activities: the project “European and North American Perspectives on Commemorating and Addressing Past Injustices” is co-funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Ottawa and the Jean Monnet Network “European Memory Politics” is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The European Union support for the production of publications does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors and cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.