Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shifting realities

Had the intense experience of attending a Tanya Tagaq concert last weekend.  I have had strange intense dreams all week.  It was pretty amazing.  I feel that it is very grounding, pulling me back to where we come from as people and returning us to the soil.  As I was listening to her album this morning I found her on a playlist with ACDC and the Clash which surprised me a bit, but it gave me a change to try some new to me music.

I want to mark here the end of Sophie's berry fast.  She started on her birthday last year. and while I did not get as much teaching time as I planned, there has been a lot of talking in that year and I suppose that will stand for itself.  I was proud of her for staying on course for the year and recently Runa asked if she will need to do the berry fast as well.  In a little way we are trying to keep these traditions alive.  Hopefully this spark will be enough to pass them on to another generation.

This last thing is hard for me to write about.  I have thought about this for some time now but after further research Joel has clarified that there was likely no Cree in our family tree.  While the ancestors in many cases lived with the Cree and the lines blur at some points, they were mostly Anishnabe except for So-way-guay who was Lakota.  As a result, I have taken the Cree off my personal profile for the blog.  However, the family has spent a couple of years working on our Cree and investing in Cree as our language to learn and building it slowly into our lives.  I think the original reasons for learning Cree remain, so we will keep on that path.

I think this is the big fear of this exercise of reclaiming, that we will claim something that was not ours.  However over the past years, it has also become more and more clear to me that a large part of the work is to keep the traditional things alive and it is maybe better to be a little too enthusiastic in the claiming than to hang back in uncertainty.  We are not Cree, but we can still learn and support those who are working to keep this language alive.  Mischief will not survive but we can still contribute to the indigenous languages revival.  I feel the difference to be able to label things in Cree, to call grandmother moon by her Cree name.  I have to work for these words and there is ceremony in this learning.

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