Thursday, May 12, 2016

Living with the whys

Tansi - One of the things the Elder mentioned the other day was to stop asking "Why?" about everything.  I took this as s reminder to focus on what matters to us and to stop trying to solve/understand the whole world.  It was also a reminder that sometimes we don't need to know why and that we may just need to live with the questions.  
I headed back over to the Kumik Lodge yesterday for the teachings but had to leave early for a meeting of Aboriginal Executives in the government.  It was kind of exciting to sit in the board room and have the Elder share a prayer.  It was interesting to see how many Métis there were in attendance and the number of different indigenous people in attendance.  As part of the afternoon we had an opportunity to talk about creating a network of indigenous employees.  We spoke about what the goals of such a group would be and there was a diversity of views, from playing an education role and supporting younger indigenous employees who join the government, to those who really just wanted to focus on their own careers.  It was good to just have that conversation and to talk about  our shared concerns.

This morning, I did my presentation to Sophie's class.  I ended up with a class and a half to present to, over 45 kids.  We talked about stereotypes and I found it interesting  what they did and did not see as stereotypes about indigenous people.  No one brought up the drunk/lazy/uneducated stereotype and instead they were very focused on the spiritual, land living, untouched historical Indian stereotype, which I suppose is a step up.  The teacher appreciated that I brought forward the discussion that this is a changing culture that is connected to wider cultural influences.  I talked about how we are not all living in teepees spending the day praying.  The students had a lot more questions than I expected, they asked a number of questions about language and why the metis are only in Canada and the US.   I think it went well overall.  The boys were upset we did not set stuff on fire (do a smudge).  I finished by telling the story about Nanabush juggling his eyeballs which went over well.  Sophie was too embarrassed to let me tell the Nanabush sets his bottom on fire story which is my favorite.

I feel very culturally connected this week after a few lull weeks.  Still thinking about what the Elder shared and what that means for me.  I kind of wish I could go sit in a teepee and sit quietly for a while.  I am also getting close to finish the beading for Runa's moccasin so I need to start planning another project.  What are you working on?  Does anyone want to share pictures?

âpihtawikosisân shared another very thoughtful piece about who is Métis.  I really appreciate how her posts support a good discussion about the issues and even when I don't 100% agree I find myself taking a critical look at what I do believe.  She also has lots of resources on her blog so it is worth a visit.  Hai hai.

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