Indigenous Is
Indigenous is not a skin color,
Indigenous is not my nose,
Indigenous is not my eye color,
Indigenous is not my lips,

Indigenous is not romanticizing ancient teachings,
To appropriate,
To disseminate,
To cut to pieces,
And abbreviate in a research document,
Indigenous is removing layers of shame from your ancestors trail,
Indigenous is stepping up to the plate,
Healing and creating a new way for future generations,
Indigenous is standing tall,
Indigenous is standing beautifully,
Indigenous is an honor.

~ Anishinaabekwe
Painting © Ernesto Hernandez Olmos, Mother Earth

Idle No More: The Dalai Lama - "The World Will Be Saved By the Western Woman"

A few years ago, the Dalai Lama made a comment at a conference in reference to western women saving the world. This comment resulted in much disappointment and confusion from many people. How could the Dalai Lama seemingly support white women (and academics at that) and turn his back on the indigenous knowledge of People Of Color from other nations?

Not once did anyone consider that maybe he was speaking about the First Nations women of Canada. This is so typical, how western settlers will romanticize indigenous women of other nations but disregard what’s in their own back yard.

Not only that, but this is Tibetan prophecy, and the prophecy of many other peoples, including the Anishinaabeg. It’s that so called ‘rhetoric’ you turn your nose up to in meetings, turn your backs on while planning social justice in communities, and turn your eyes away from even though it’s staring you in the face. How many hundreds of years have we been talking and you still act like you don’t know what’s going on?

With that rant off my chest, I think I’ll just “pipe the f*** down” now.     

Our survival is dependent upon our ability to read the political landscape…

My first mother, the Land, is the teacher here..
…she teaches me to come at this from a place of honour strength and dignity.

…because if you go out into the bush from a place of weakness- with anxiety, fear… you don’t come home…

In knowing every detail in knowing how Anishinaabek governance works. In being grounded in who I am and in being intimately connected with every grain of sand in my territory….

I will not beg, because I am not a victim…

—  Leanne Simpson in a talk on Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back.

I know you can’t see our faces but this is my fav picture with my grandma. #graduation #2009 I was so proud of myself for earning my diploma. Being a residential school survivor, I knew it was important to her that I earn it. I have all the opportunities she didn’t at my age. I want to make her and my family proud. Everyone needs to watch #WeWereChildren and understand why the native people are the way they are. I’m a proud #AnishinaabeKwe and plan on passing my #Ojibwe culture onto my own children one day. #IndianResidentialSchoolSurvivor