Spanish Residential School, Revisited

Every day the food was the same, except for Fridays (TGIF at a whole new level) or picnics in the summer (as some students weren't allowed to go home): breakfast was porridge, milk, bread/butter (butter was a hot commodity, the boys would bargain for an extra lot of lard to curb their hunger), lunch/dinner was meat and potatoes and bread (no butter). Dinner would sometimes have tea.  The boys also worked in The Garden of McLaren, named after Brother McLaren, and harvested "tomatoes, cucumbers and boundless temptations (pg. 26)" but all accounts imply the boys got none of these nutrients. Basil wrote about the fact that even though the boys ate the same thing for years, they still scrambled for food at each meal because they were so hungry. Imagine how many calories these growing boys burned working at the school, cleaning it top to bottom, and all the while growing in age, with no change in food allotment.


Cultural Blindness

I explicitly remember being taught in Grade 9 Geography that the US is a melting pot, which I picture like some days old chilli cooking, meanwhile, Canada is a beautiful and fresh salad... Well, news flash after news flash, after consciously acting with news and analysing it with my new-found brightness I’ve learned otherwise…

Ninga-gagwejitoon ji ojibwemoyaan

"Gaawiin aapiji ninitaa-ojibwemosii. - I don’t know how to talk Ojibwe very much. Ninga-gagwejitoon ji ojibwemoyaan. - I'll try talking Ojibwe." Chii Mig Wetch to The Wagner Family, creator(s) of a key, resourceful blog.  This Manidoo- Giizhi (January), I started learning Anishinaabemowin...

Lecture by Anton Treuer: white fragility

I have been listening to this incredibly well spoken human named Anton Treuer (father of nine, grandfather, author/publisher of many Indigenous books, editor of  a bilingual journal called Oshkaabewis, Ojibwe language professor, and more) speak about Indigenous language at the U of Winnipeg last year. It has been informative and funny and captivating. Though I am not yet finished listening or learning from it, he greatly explained the idea of white fragility which I had not heard of before (see below, if you have a few minutes watch @ @ 47 minutes). 

Travel by Treaty takes another journey

We just booked another journey where we will be visiting Wikwemikong First Nation, M'Chigeeng First Nation, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF), and St.Joseph's Residential School for some more learning, challenges, reflection, spirituality, Indigenous culture, and beauty.

Forgot about Canada 150? It has been 138 days since Ground Zero INAC Toronto began holding a Vigil for Indigenous Children and Youth and no one knows about it.

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 …

Reflecting on Indigenous Cultural Safety Collaborative Learning Seminars, and White Privilege

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.

Back in Treaty 13

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 …

Cecilia Jeffery’s Indian Residential School

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 Indian Residential School, Kenora, ON

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.