"The smell of smoked hide lingers around us and as she weaves needle and stories, remembering home, and she brings peace, the low light catching off a silver thimble nestled onto the tip of a ring finger."
"Vulnerability is allowing yourself to be unapologetically Black, unapologetically Indigenous. To operate in multiple planes of thought. To use slang and Ebonics in one sentence, and to speak eloquently in the next. It is accepting your paradox and embracing it with your whole self. To allow your boundaries to be the only lines that define you, to be multi-dimensional in your healing."
"I would wander into the night and find the best location to capture these dancing lights. It made me feel free going out into my little Rez and seeing these lights in the sky, so peaceful and vibrant. I would often think about my grandfather saying, “don’t whistle, they’ll grab you,” and giggle to myself."
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.
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.