June 21stis known as National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada. It’s a time for the indigenous people to acknowledge the many achievements, share knowledge of the language, culture and traditions, and to celebrate our resilience.
I remind myself of the importance of community and connection that was once deeply rooted in our culture. To give someone our full attention is to love - because Love & Attention mean the same thing.
It was amazing to listen to my friends laugh and joke around in te reo Māori (the Māori language) and never apologizing if I didn’t know what they were saying. It made me want to learn my Dene language.
A lot of us went in not knowing what we were doing and there was no judgement from the experienced competitors, and coaches. Instead we were given huge amounts of encouragement and tips on what would give us the most success in each event. They are what really made this event such a success.
Raising a child off-reserve, I often think about how she is going to walk through this world. Don’t get me wrong – all of what is currently known as Canada is Indigenous land. Growing up Urban will not and does not make her less Indian. I’m raising a Dene warrior, no matter if she walks on cement or grass.