We prayed, sang, drummed and rattled. We feasted, laughed, shared stories, and sat with Mother Earth. We leaned on each other’s shoulders to find comfort from any stress or sorrows we carried. We gathered with love and compassion.
A night of dancing on Granville with an insta-queen and now real-life friend. We bonded over 90's hiphop and perusing a late-night sex shop. Getting lost on Burnaby mountains and shopping makeup, sipping sangria and sharing stories of men, family, and dreams. Eating tacos and getting lit at 11 AM, thick accents on point as we laughed and teared up, mourning and celebrating in the moment, like Indigenous women do. And finally, pasta and poetry shared on an adventure of lost restaurants, a decade's worth of friendship, and planning the next sleepover.
As a second language learner of Cree, there is so much to work through in terms of shame, anger and trauma due to the violent interruption colonization had on our languages. The camp provided a safe and nourishing environment to reconnect with the language with likeminded friends who are now family.
I have learned that is important to hold yourself accountable and responsible for your own life. I have learned new ways of thinking and evaluating situations that are so much broader than the walls of my own mind. I have learned that it is okay to be compassionate, and humble and to feel everything so deeply – rather than trying to mask those feelings or act like they simply aren’t there.