5 Signs You Have Felt the Impacts of Colonization

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1. Your idea of a traditional gathering is a night out at bingo with Kohkum (Grandma).

2. When someone speaks your traditional language to you, you nod stoically but ask another person for a translation later.

3. You cannot part with technology. A part of you needs to tweet, “OMG hot long braided guy @ pow wow. Should I go for it? Y not? #YOLO.”

4. When you grew up, the only “real Indians” you seen were on “Dances with Wolves”.

5. You live by the code, “Bros before Hoes”, even though you belong to a matrilineal society.

I didn’t want to start this blog off seriously. A part of why and how we survived as Indigenous Peoples is our ability to laugh at life. To find humor in the dark and create our own light.

We, as Indigenous people, all live with the ghosts of colonization and the continual presence of it attempts to distract us from who we really are.

So who are we?

Taiaiake Alfred uses the Mohawk word, “Onkwehonwe”, which means original people.

I grew up first knowing my mothers tribe as “Beaver” and my fathers as “Cree”. A small step in decolonization is reclamation is taking back the original name for yourself in your language. I am Dane Zaa and Nehiyawak.

What’s in a name anyways?

Power. overtime we learn a new word in our language and replace it in our everyday conversations with others we are reclaiming the space of our ancestors, honouring them, and in turn we honour ourselves.

Hakatah Wuujo Asonalah,

HelenK

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