Growing up my sister and I learned our heritage from our mother. That our descent was German Quaker and Blackfoot, through many mixed intermarriages. As a child I assumed everyone had similar backgrounds. When Oka happened I was 16. Seeing the developing conflict it was easy to know which side deserved support. The government was clearly in the wrong. It was when I started expressing that view, that I first experienced the hate routinely directed at First Nations people in Canada. During Oka many people close to me displayed a level of hatred I never knew existed. Friends at school, my British father, openly talked about what should be done about the ‘Indian problem’. I remember my father screaming at the TV coverage, and thinking ‘does he have any respect for my mother and her heritage?’. After Oka I became more guarded about telling people my ancestry. The vicious words of those close to me had stung. At the same time it galvanized my understanding of who I was. The lack of respect from others made me determined to respect my ancestry, my self. Many years later I can now see that Oka put me on a path that I continue to walk today. These events woke me up, and for that I’m grateful to all the veterans of Oka.