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Throughout this reflective essay I explore Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Indigenous philosophy and contemplative education as ethical pathways to healing and reconciliation in higher education. I put forth the idea of becoming the imperfect friend in a world ethos of death by a thousand cuts as a response to the violence of colonialism perpetuated in academia. I reflect on the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh values of eslhélha7kwhiws and stélmexw as contemplative dispositions that lend themselves to the process of becoming the imperfect friend. I conclude by describing a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh -led program hosted by Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2022-2023, named Moving Together In The Ways of The People. The program is captured in a documentary film following a dedicated group SFU educators, graduate students and staff endeavouring to take meaningful action towards reconciliation by embarking on a sacred learning journey led by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh elders and knowledge carriers on traditional, ancestral, unceded Coast Salish territories.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.