100 Dolls to promote a vision of the Aboriginal women who are missing or have been murdered, to one of dignity and honor. British Columbia must stop housing conditions that are conducive to Native Women being hunted down and killed.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So, it's 2:01 AM. I am still awake, the night before the big "Candle Light Vigil". I always get nervous whenever I do a big doo, and this is no exception.

I really tried to be calm and collected about this event. There are thoughts going through my mind right now, which make it very hard not to be frazzled. First, the questions to which there are no answers. Like, who will show up? Will this reach to a great audience - for that is what the idea of raising awareness is to accomplish. I would hate to think that 10 people will show up, or worse - no one.

Second, will the speakers show up? If the speakers did not show up but the audience did - then that would be somewhat easier.

Ahhh, my life has been very busy with this project, as with my other projects. I believe in what I do and trying to get others on board, you just never know. I sometimes do question my involvement - for it has been asked of me already - what right do I have?

Again - I will answer this question, with one simple fact, that being born an (obvious) Aboriginal women - a First Nations Cree women from Sturgeon Lake, Alberta - I was born into an oppressed position. I did not know this growing up, and it was so easy to not see it. I was not privileged, and yet I am very privileged.

I only have to think of my sister. She is dying, of colon cancer. She is suffereing horribly. And on Monday she called me with a heart wrenching plea for help. I hated to hear her talk like that, and for the life of me - there was little I could do.

Is this what "others" think of Aboriginal women when they are confronted with the pleas of Aboriginal women? The problems are so big and so huge, that when you hear the plea for life, for dignity, for respect, how can you solve this problem?

I will never forgive those who treated my sister poorly, for she has not received respect, nor given dignity. I hate that she is viewed as less than those who were treating her, and if this is her last chance at life, it breaks my heart to think there was nothing I could do.

What I wanted to do, was to get to Alberta, and I wanted to tape her on my video camera. Why? Because (when) she does die, I want her to tell her own story, to be able to voice her pain and anguish to those who did not listen to her. I want to expose those in society who saw her as a "druggie" or a "street person", and only remember her identity with contempt.

If they only considered what she went through. The burden she was given was never a fair trade for her participation in society, when she did not ask for this, and she did not deserve this, and she is being unfairly judged by this.

For my sister, my lovely, beautifuly sister Cynthia, I love you. Everything I do in this struggle is for everything you gave me, which at this point, seems more than what I am able to give you in return.

To all the baby Aboriginal girls being born, privileged or not, who are automatically given this burden by their identity, is what I want to change. I carry in my heart the love I have for my sister who is loved, and with the life she has and the life she didn't have, I put foward a vengence
for some retribution for a better memory, more understanding, more empathy.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Since June 2006

The work continues. I am now at UBC. I hated it for the first month. I felt totally out of my element. I thought for sure this is what I wanted, that this was the path for me. Things are a bit better, where I am not so lost and confused, but neither do I have any strong committment to UBC.

I got some of my fellow students in my Women STudies class to help me organize a film premier called "Highway of Tears" with Amnesty International. Wait. I forgot to add that this summer I worked doing some incredible things.

First - I worked at Postive Women's Network. This organization deals with HIV/AIDES positive women. I worked as a "Retreat Organizer", which was coordinating a three day retreat for the Aboriginal women members.

I had a great time, and from what I read (completed retreat evaluation forms), the women also had a great time. I had participation from the Aboriginal community with guests coming in to share stories and laughter and song. I continue to see these "positive" women in the work that I do, and pray for each that they continue to find the strength to survive day to day. However, the one thing that became so apparant, was that survival also include some laughter. My goodness, how sad it was that there is not enough laughter in the day.

I am guilty of this also, where I become so ingrained in my deep thoughts on how to attack the many different concerns, that I forget to laugh.

Second, I also worked the Canadian Jewish Congress. Which I am glad I did. You cannot know for sure anything until you know for sure (pretty wise of me huh?). I do support the Jewish Community on many different issues but not on everything. And since I do not want to get into a political rant about this particular subject, I would rather leave it be.

However, they created an opportunity, allowing me to research a book they were presented with, which was disturbing to my core. It was regarding one man's rant about First Nations/Aboriginal people, particularily, in British Columbia. Do not forget, there were many, many Aboriginal women who were killed in BC, and this one man created 10,000 copies of his flith, tainting others with his ilk. I still have no idea what to do with this book, but something will be done in the near future. I continue to support the Jewish Community on many issues. Within their own "Jewish" community, there is not 100% consensus on all issues, so I know it's with respect that they accept my thoughts.

Ok, so, the retreat went fabulous. I started school at UBC. I organized the film premier for "Highway of Tears", and now I am working at BC Women's Hospital organizing the Candle Light Vigil (see poster below). There were lots of other things, but that is a generalized view of my life. Unless you want to know about my kids, who are fabulous!

They are little sprites, full of life and mishieviousness, which makes me smile. My eight year old is a wise old man, who feels others emotions and takes them on as his own. Since he was a baby, he was so nurturing, and in preschool, understood that people had emotions which he was somehow able to "see". My five year old reacts to situations like he was experiencing it himself. The most recent film, Superman, there is a scene where a mom, dad and a young boy get stuck on a boat which goes under water, he broke down and started crying so hard. I didn't know this was in the movie, and was a bit angry at myself for letting that into his mind. But, we talked about it, and this is just how he is. He cries at sad cartoons (in bad attempts at being funny). They are both so much like me.

I hope to see as many people attend this Candle Light Vigil. But will be happy if at least 100 people show up.


The work continues...................................

Candle Light Vigil