"I am inspired by nature and Indigenous women. Both created on this land, both important and provide for the people, both continuously fighting to be seen and resisting being replaced by others from outside Turtle Island."
When you experience an upmost connection to these elements, you do not want to disrupt or conquer. There is an interrelationship between the land and us: we should not see ourselves as greater than the land, and we should not have a desire or intend to dominate the land. This experience was wâhkôhtowin.
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.
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.