I have been following âpihtawikosisân and the comments on her latest post. I am struck by the passion of people in discussing what is a metis. However, a lot of these comments come down to a metis being someone who is walking an authentic metis/native life but without any discussion of what that actually means. There is refference to those people who take up indian life for the wrong reasons, but how do you know if you are one of those? How do you take up a life that has been hidden for a long time?
I think we need more positive conversation about what the good red road is and the different permutations of that across Canada and in both urban and rural settings. I would not have been able to make a healthy and realistic claim of my heritage without all of the wonderful stories, music and art I have been able to access from my brothers and sisters, and the kindness and wisdom of Elders who have listened and shared with me.
There is so much to learn when it is new and it can be overwhelming. There were things I thought I could ignore, like food and plant wisdom that I now realize I need to decolonialize and integrate in my life. That while we have a daily rhythm of ceremony, our family needs to understand how to deal with the less regular things like the arrival of first moon time or a death in the family.
In this conversation, we need to not just focus on that one moment of official claiming of metis identity, but to share our stories of reclaiming, of decolonializing and of living as metis in this modern context. To collaborate on how we are supporting our children, influencing our institutions and living as metis today. We need to share our resources, inspirations and wisdom.