June is Indigenous History Month in Canada. It is a time to recognize the cultures and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples. It is also a time to recognize the contributions and resiliency of Indigenous people.
Part of our acknowledgement process comes from educating ourselves to the culture and history of Indigenous people. One way to do this is to register for a free online course being offered through the University of Alberta: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada
History through story is also a way that we can appreciate the resiliency of Indigenous people. Two books that may interest you (that I highly recommend) include:
“From the Ashes” by Jesse Thistle; a memoir that chronicles Jesse’s life on the streets and how he overcame addiction and intergenerational trauma in order to truly embrace his Indigenous culture. Learn more by visiting Jesse’s website: https://jessethistle.com/
“Five Little Indians” by Michelle Good. Reading this book allowed me to gain a greater understanding of residential school survivors and the haunting effects of colonialism. Learn more: https://www.michellegood.ca/
“Some people naively think they can hijack or control or harness the wind driving this movement forward. Any effort to do this will fail, because the energy behind this awakening, this force, is coming from all directions. Don’t just believe me, go outside and, using your own breath, try to blow back the wind in the direction from which it comes. Think of the drum, the heartbeat, the songs, and how all these beautiful sounds roll into an echo carried by that wind from the ancestors through to the lives of our children’s children.” – Michelle Good, Five Little Indians.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@andrewjoegeorge