oozing danger, igniting sparks
Rep’n with my sash, beadwork and my quillwork barrette.
National Aboriginal Day invokes a lot of feelings for me. As it does for a lot of us here in colonial Canada. Some of them are good, a lot of them are not good. I won’t try to explain - there are many people who have done that, and a lot more eloquently than I can.
NAD also makes me think a lot of the joy, and sadly, contention of what it is to be both a Cree and Métis woman growing up with both cultures. Although I love and celebrate both my cultures, I am expected to only claim one. I am always Cree before I am Métis to many fellow NDNs, and especially to institutions. I can never check off both of those boxes on forms. Because apparently, there is no way to be both Métis and a “status Indian” (Spoiler: I am). A lot people don’t even know that Métis people have their own distinct language and traditions. My grandma spoke Michif fluently and was a loved and respected Elder, my dad builds Red River carts - being Métis is just as important to me as being Cree is.
I could spill a whole essay here. Maybe I will someday. But for now, I’ll just say that it was a good day. Even if I see the definite shitty aspect of NAD, it’s also an opportunity to see a lot of people I love and for many of our artists to be celebrated.
Happy solstice, everyone.
I will post more pictures later.