Friday, October 21, 2016

Motorcycles, schools and cat purrs

I have begun reading "Motorcycles and Sweetgrass" by Drew Haden Taylor.  I am drawn to make comparisons to Salmon Rushdie.  The sense of place is palpable as is the magic.  Perhaps I found myself pulled into this story more than usual as we had the pleasure to hear Christy Jordan-Fenton supporting her mother in law, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton to share her story about attending a residential schools. 

These two have written a number of books about Margaret's experiences, including "Fatty Legs".  They spoke eloquently to the layers of harm in the residential schools, some of which was new to me, as well as to the ongoing legacy of those harms.  This was beyond the more obvious kinds of abuse, to make clear the realities of the everyday abuses and their legacy.

I was glad to share this time with Runa.  She needs to carry these stories forward.  It reminded me, that learning an Indigenous language is not just a nice things to do, but an important part of decolonization and that it is important to look critically into our lives to where we may still be carrying ways of doing things and thinking that are harmful.

On a different note, I am really enjoying this cat purr simulator which allows you the cat sound experience wherever you are.  I find it calm for when I need to concentrate and it is lovely to fall asleep too.  My one colleague was bemused, "..but you are a highly educated economist."  I am not sure how to take that, as this economist thinks animal noises are pretty good at maximizing my utility.

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