I just started my fourth week of my new job and so far I can say that I love it. I can’t get into too much details, but basically my work mandate is Violence Against Women which embodies individual counseling, advocacy and educational group programs. Our mandate is for Aboriginal/First Nations women, however we are inclusive and our services are open to all women who need it.
Besides my new job, there have been a few blips on my radar with our move and the kids getting used to our new lives away from the city, but all in all it’s going really well.
It’s kind of weird being back home. When I first left here several years ago, I walked out of my parents house with two bags and the clothes on my back vowing to never come back to live. I felt even more strongly about this after I had my own kids, thinking that raising them off the reserve was better for them. In many ways, this was the best choice for my children and for me. I love my home, however if you know anything about the history of colonization and First Nations in Canada, you will know that life on a native reserve can be fraught with trauma and heartbreak. I certainly experienced this growing up here and what parent doesn’t want to protect their children from that?
But I think I have let my own personal trauma cloud my vision for many years, and now after being away from here for so long, I have returned and I see things differently. Yes, there are some problems, but I think we are fortunate because my First Nation community is not isolated (which I think has a lot to do with problems like alcoholism and drug addiction), we have a huge land base, economically things are on the upswing and our leadership is modern and progressive. I am proud of where I am from and it feels like the right place for me to be right now. I think I have something of value to contribute.
Basically, what I am saying is that things have changed for the better and are continuing to evolve into bigger and better things. I feel hopeful and optimistic.
I have attended some community functions and it feels good to be back. It’s also good to be amongst my huge extended family, and it’s great to see my kids experience the outdoors the way I did when I was a child.
I enjoy and need my family, and for the first time in my life I realize that not only do I also enjoy and need my community around me, but that my community might actually need me too…
All photos are my own, taken and edited on my iPhone5. Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/bearheartwoman