I write this blog post from my current home of Treaty 13, Traditional Territories of the Ojibway, the Anishinabe and, in particular, the Mississauga’s of the New Credit. I'd like to acknowledge my privileges, specifically my white privilege. Please read critically. Canada 150 EH? Did you know that there was a vigil being held? Do you know …
I wanted to take some time to write about the experience I had engaging in the Webinar by Indigenous Cultural Safety Collaborative Learning Seminars. . . The topic of cultural awareness, cultural competency, cultural sensitivity, and cultural safety has been presented to me throughout my student nursing career and many people have told me that they are "impressed" and "inspired" with my awareness and knowledge of Indigenous issues. Thank you for your support and compassion. To this I say to you: join me. . . This world has a wealth of cultures and diverse peoples who are always changing and adapting. Cultural safety and equity is an ongoing, long term process that requires active engagement. . . Breaking down white privilege is not easy - it's ingrained and unconscious to most white settlers. Unconscious or habitual things take WORK to overcome. This does not mean its impossible to change, it takes time, focus, energy, resistance, and patience.
We have just arrived back in Treaty 13, what is now known as Toronto. "The name Toronto is derived from a Mohawk word "tkaronto," which means "where there are trees standing in the water." I am behind on a few posts, as we visited about 4 more Residential School sites. Please stay tuned. In the …
Miigwetch for your patience while I take some time to re-group after our month long trip. Reflecting back in time, we visited the two sites of Cecilia Jeffery's IRS on June 23rd and June 25th. Students at the school were part of a flour experiment, like those at St. Mary's IRS, but CJ's experiment looked at education and its effects on healthy eating. In addition, kids were part of an ear infection drug trial.
St. Mary's IRS was located on Rat Portage First Nation (also known as Wauzhushk Onigum Nation), treaty 3 territory. We happened upon the memorial site when we were exiting WON and were able to take some time to pray for the spirits of those who attended the school. The memorial was a beautiful tribute.
Today (Friday, June 23), I acknowledge that we traveled through and reside in Treaty 3. We travelled through Wauzhushk Onigum Nation and Iskatewizaagegan First Nation. I was unable to reach either of these communities prior to our arrival. I would like to remind myself and readers of the white bias that my writing inherently possesses. Please feel free to comment, correct, or question anything I have said throughout any of my blogs.
I used to love tattooing up and wearing red and white, dreamt the only real tattoo I’d get would be of a Canadian flag. I loved going to Parliament, or street parties, or fireworks to join with festivities. I remember when I was 8 y/o I sang (not well) the national anthem to friends and family. I cherish those memories. This year, my definition of what it means to be Canadian has changed, and I don’t feel like celebrating is the best way for me to recognize Canada.
St. Joseph's opened as an Orphanage in Fort William in 1870 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste Marie. The school accepted both white and Indigenous children so was considered an orphanage. It then evolved into a boarding school. I closed in 1907 as the CPR was being built closer to Thunder Bay. The school moved to the corner of Arthur and Franklin St. (the current playground of Pope John Paul II), closing in 1966.
*I am very behind on my posts because life happens... I am still learning and will continue to post - please notice the date as per the title. **Photo above was created by Kels Pitchenese, see their website in the Eagle Lake FN paragraph. Today, I acknowledge that we traveled through Treaty 60 to Treaty 3, and are residing in Treaty 3 territory. We traveled through Fort William First Nation, Wabigoon, and Eagle Lake. We were unable to reach Grassy Narrows and so did not make the 2-hour journey off the highway to there.
Does Rupert Ross' book have a place to be teaching Indigenous Healing? And if so, is this where I want to be, or where we should be learning from. Do authors like Laurie Graham, who write about Indigenous issues from a White-allied perspective have a place? Does this very blog I am writing have a place? What is that place? Are we taking away from Indigenous writers and story tellers?