To this day, I feel like I can express myself better through visual language rather than spoken word. And I want to show everyone what I experience when I am with Indigenous folks; pride, strength, belly laughter, cleverness, beauty, irreverent humour, resiliency, creativity, just to name a few. There is so much to offer.
I’ll keep puttering along though, learning bit by bit. Becoming more and more of myself as I continue to regain what is rightfully mine, the language of my ancestors, the language of love pumping through my veins. One day, maybe I'll be fluent like they were.
In decolonizing the family, I understand now that there is no shame in raising my children together with the larger community.
I want people to know that East Coast Indigenous artists are waking up – our visual and cultural identities are becoming stronger than ever.
I asked our artists to send their fave photos and to reflect upon personal growth and art in their lives, and as always, they shared truth and wisdom and goals.
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.
When it’s clear skies and I know the sunset will be amazing, I try to take one photo of it, and enjoy the rest of it myself. It’s the most beautiful thing I get to witness in my days.
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.
The idea that a trans woman’s body or transitioning is a sovereign act may seem odd to people, but it’s rejecting a colonial violence against us (forcing us into Western gender systems) and reclaiming our inherent femininity inside culture. It’s about connecting our sexualities to our land-seeing our pleasure as also sovereign. Our bodies, our right to be loved, to feel good.
It’s a beautiful feeling when you see your own people succeeding, sharing that light and love with everyone and knowing you aren’t alone in your struggles.