"We live with my sister and nephew and although it’s for a few seasons, I am so grateful for the extra hand with my daughter, and the aunty-hood that she gets to experience. In Cree, aunty is “nikowis” which is very close to “nikowiy” for mother, because an aunt is like another mother."
"I remember feeling jealous of the teachers, going into their classrooms with the kids and I realized I needed to do just that, be in the classrooms with the kids of our community."
"They, like their dad, won’t experience the world as I did physically with my brown skin, but my son is my son and they are my grandchildren. I am their brown mom and kôhkom and my love for them is beyond this realm, connecting them to their relatives in the process."
"He cried out for his mama.
I can’t get this out of my head."
"Truth is there’s nothing normal about this so it’s okay to feel unsettled, to feel not like yourself."
"Simultaneously, like in a dream, I hear both laughter and crying, coming from different parts of the big, curved room. No, it is not a dream. Today, we are laying a community member to rest."
"We know that survival and grief are never finished. We know that a mother’s scream is a battle cry. We know that it is our responsibility to stand up."
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.
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.