Originally published in Volume 150 Issue 3 of the Dalhousie Gazette on October 6th, 2017.
The Gazette office is cozy with six people sitting in it staring at the chalkboard wall. Staff meetings often start this way: we spend a lot of time staring at our chalkboard—
it’s the blueprint of The Dalhousie Gazette sketched across our wall.
Dates and random keywords we’ll use for SEO later, guide us through each meeting,
helping plan out stories weeks in advance.
In August, the team first walked into room 345 and sat down in front of a blank, black, sheet on the wall and by end-of-day we knew what stories we were putting into the First Issue of the Year; we knew when our beloved and begrudged satire would be published, and what theme each issue will be.
I knew this issue would be one focused on Mi’kmaq stories before we’d begun planning. Mi’kmaq History Month began October 1, which is also Treaty Day in Nova Scotia.
Most Canadians typically take this time of year to count their blessings; I wonder if they will reflect on how these blessings are possible.
During that first meeting we all knew this issue would land close to Thanksgiving, and when I declared that the issue would be more focused on Mi’kmaq stories our Opinions editor, Matt Stickland, piped up:
“I have a great story I wanna write: How to deal with your racist Uncle at Thanksgiving dinner.”
That piece is now within the folds of this paper; the product of a need on Dalhousie University’s campus for silenced voices to be heard, for the Gazette to dedicate itself to a broader scope of diverse reporting on campus, and to remember that expressing practiced once-a-year thankfulness isn’t truly gratitude.
I’m grateful each morning I awake; I’m grateful to work with a team who labour effortlessly each week to produce a 23-page newspaper; I’m grateful we can use our opportunity as the voice of the campus to create a platform for others on to speak their own experiences at Dal.
This year, I ask not what you are grateful for—why are you grateful?