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.
You are born of men and women who have been utilizing plant medicines for many generations. Your blood and your body remembers; your body speaks the same language as these medicines.
My sister and I were once in the Child Welfare System so the death of Tina Fontaine struck me personally. If it wasn’t for my mother choosing to change her life around by becoming sober, the system could have likely failed us too.
Unlike most other travellers I met, I was Indigenous, and although not Indigenous to the lands I was trekking, I could identify and relate my Indigeneity to the contexts I found myself in. These countries I visited all have long and complex histories of colonial rule, war, and trauma, which I was able to connect to and empathize with due to similar colonial history and traumas within my blood and ancestral land.
This work has to be done collectively. One person could not do it all. That collective mentally is deeply embedded in indigenous teachings as is upholding our sacred responsibility from our ancestors.
"...all I want is for our upcoming generations to have moments peace just like that with their own songs, prayers, and ceremonies."
"On a soul level, though, when I hold these items I am filled with gratitude for the woman who made them, because to some degree I owe my existence to her basketry expertise and her ability to sell the baskets in this newly imposed system of capitalism."
It's been a learning experience, and we are so thankful to have met a lot of inspiring new and established artists along the way.