“For me, warrior is both an image of responsibility and commitment. Warriors live to protect, yes, but, more importantly, to give honour to the people. Being a warrior means living your life for more than yourself. Warrior, in my mind, is not a man’s word. It is not a fighting word. It is not a war word. Given what I have been told about many Indian languages, that you cannot use “he” or “she” in the same way that you do in the English language, I suspect that the word warrior is not gender-specific at all. Warrior is a “knowing your place in your community,” “caring to speak your truth,” “being able to share your gift,” “being proud of who you are” word. Warrior, in the way I intend it, is not merely a resistance word. The way I have come to understand the warrior is as someone who is beyond resisting. Survivors resist. Resistance is one of many skills that a warrior might use. It is not their only way. Warriors also have vision. They dream for their people’s future.” – Patricia Monture
I cried when I read the above passage as a part of my assigned readings for class. I cried because I am in a space of transition. I am redefining who I am and how I see myself through the process of decolonization and my own personal healing journey. As a young Indigenous woman, the two of these journey’s are intricately intertwined and one cannot happen with out the other.
I have spent a lot of my life in a state of resisting.
In my early stages of life I resisted healing. I resisted sexual abuse. I resisted shame. I resisted help. I resisted remembering. I resisted reality. I resisted..arrest (just kidding). I resisted my Indigenous identity. I resisted change.
Then resisting took on another characterization..
I resisted alcohol. I resisted drugs. I resisted sexual violence. I resisted the urge to say silent. I resisted my colonized mind. I resisted false perceptions of who I was as an Indigenous woman. I resisted oppression. I resisted becoming a statistic. I resisted the blocks on my healing journey. I resisted people who told me my spirituality was wrong. I resisted the Federal governments oppressive policies. I resisted misinformation. I resisted unwarranted development on my traditional territory. I resisted lateral violence.
I am renegotiating the spaces that I speak and perceive from. I have spent most of my life resisting. I have allowed myself to heal in the stage of the survivor from violence’s and colonization. Now it is time to move forward into vision and action.
I am reclaiming the warrior.