Andrea Menard x Marc Bhalla academic collaboration that explores how to be an authentic ally to Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. Established 2021.

*** Marc Bhalla makes no claims of being Indigenous. He participates as an ally ***

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Marc Bhalla was born in Hong Kong and moved to Turtle Island in 1981.

An uninvited guest and immigrant, Marc is biracial.

His father is Indian, mother British.

Marc with his relations in India (1996)

While often passing for white, Marc has never been able to identify as white. He is proud of his East Indian heritage... including the cuisine!

Raised on the land of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Marc grew up to become a mediator, arbitrator, writer and professor.

He is a proud product of the public school system, though is honest and vocal about the lack of education he received about Indigenous Peoples and colonialism.

Marc has a master's degree in law but is not a lawyer. He often works with lawyers in his work and teaching, though.

Growing up, Marc worked as a paperboy for the Mississauga News, at McDonald's (his teenage dream job) and as an entrepreneur.

In high school during the golden age of hip hop music, Marc was taught how to disc jockey by his step brother and started his own dj business with friends. He continued with it as a hobby at university and worked in the hip hop section of HMV.

Marc meeting SNRK (June 2022)

Marc's love of hip hop music remains and is a significant aspect of his appreciation of Snotty Nose Rez Kids - an independent Indigenous hip hop group who Marc cherishes, has seen in concert and has had guest lecture at his law class.

Marc contributes to the Authentic Allyship Project by drawing on the perspective of a non-Indigenous person, with limits of understanding and a genuine interest in learning and offering support.

He writes for our monthly blog, helps coordinate our book club and co-created our Finding Your Place in Reconciliation workbook.

As an Academic Partner of the Authentic Allyship Project, Marc has guest lectured at Andrea Menard's Reconciliation and Lawyers class at the University of Calgary, co-developed and instructed In Search of Reconciliation Through Dispute Resolution at Osgoode Hall Law School and spoke at The Meaning of Reconciliation to Legal Professionals at the Canadian Bar Association's Alberta Branch.

Marc supports the Moose Hide Campaign and will fast in observance of the 2023 Moose Hide Campaign Day.

Marc is proud of his collection of shirts from The Rez Life - an Indigenous clothing and lifestyle brand that he promotes* - and is grateful to attend events at the Barrie Native Friendship Centre as an aspiring ally with so much to learn.

* Marc has permission from The Rez Life to promote their brand and does so because he believes in it.