Economic Reconciliation

The Struggle is Real

April 20, 2021

Some days are harder than others to find energy to do this work, as it truly takes its toll on me emotionally, spiritually and mentally. You are constantly looking at where you are at and how much you have to give. Will it be enough today? Will I fall short? Do I have enough or nothing?

Life is hard enough when you are person of colour and do not have white privilege. You are constantly dealing with something; the oppression, racism, discrimination, trauma, healing, forgiveness, educating, constantly educating, defending, justifying, tolerating, and it goes on.

It’s even harder when you are doing things for the right reasons and not for power, glory, greed, ego, pride, etc. You are truly doing it for the well-being of everything because this is what you were taught and given the responsibility to do. You see, hear and feel the energy of all living things because your spirit is connected to their energy and you know you can do something. You know your ancestors are watching, listening and guiding at every step.

And the stakes are higher, when you’re a woman, a Chief, a Chief’s daughter, an older sister, an aunt and most importantly a mother, who will some day be a grandmother. Your child is watching, witnessing, learning, observing, and teaching. You know that you are here to live on purpose, to lead, guide, learn, teach and share a vision of change, because you demanded it of the leaders before you.

But just because I am a strong, intelligent, powerful, stubborn, resilient, woman, Chief, wife and mother, doesn’t mean that I always have what is needed to make it through. I rely heavily on my mother, sister, husband, son, friends, coworkers, and community to get me through both the good and challenging times.  The struggle is real all the time. Even being and vulnerable to write this story about the struggles I face in being ‘Indian’ (legally defined in the Indian Act), a woman, a mom, etc. takes energy

I am not the only one facing this, human kind is currently suffering like it never has before through these challenging times.  But doing work to tell the truth, provide space for others to become awake to that truth, then to learn and set in motion a motivation to change, be and do better takes a lot amidst fear, chaos and uncertainty.  It’s like being a teenager amidst a pandemic, which is what my son is facing daily.  So we are traveling a road less travelled together, because you feel like you’re crazy throughout it all.

I’m just writing to share that all of it takes it toll. Still, I find what it takes to forgive, heal, learn, educate, etc. while on this journey because this is what it’s going to take for the change to happen. I lead by example. Reconciliation is a journey of commitment, humanity, healing, educating, listening, being heard, sharing the truth, action, decolonizing, connecting with your spirit, finding purpose, creating equity, equality, compassion, connection, forgiveness, empathy, values, doing what is right, doing better, creating change, and everything that is great about being human. In the face of everything that is negative about being human, we find balance of our spirit, soul and humanity.

Most days, I am all of these things. I can dig deep when needed and get it done. But some days it’s overwhelmingly hard to find that space where you believe you think you can do it.  To face all of the privilege, racism, discrimination, oppression, negativity, colonialism, patriarchy, capitalism, politics, dominance, etc. While caring for an aging mother, a husband who is recouping from surgery, a teenage son who doesn’t know who, what, where, etc. in his life, in a midst of a pandemic, with nowhere to go, and no one to see, except on zoom.

Yet despite it all, my journey to write a framework that could be something to help create curiosity and space for everything that I want to see change, is where I want to be.  I am grateful for the opportunity, forever and always.  No matter how hard it is to move through some of these spaces, I still get up and give it my best on that day. I continue finding my purpose, faith, courage, and passion to ensure I leave this legacy for son, unborn grandchildren and all of the generations to come.  Because when they miss me when I’m gone, they will have this and all of the other things we gave them to be so much more than we were.

I hope that one day, my son reads the framework and knows that I did this for him.