Shout out from Toronto

Today when I started my session, on What is an Entrepreneur Warrior I shared about what this looked like, and how it, fits into the current context.

I didn’t sleep much last night. I arrived on Sunday.  Immediately in my room, I felt the need to hear this song: by the Tribe Called Red. I’ve had to ground myself a lot this time in Toronto. It felt powerful to introduce Toronto as the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

Recovering the feminine sacred power of who we are as Indigenous Women is key to our development and our movements on this Land.  Recovering the masculine is about picking up those stories and songs that make us proud and strong.  Even the buildings are made of Mother Earth. Look out and still find trees growing in concrete. Feel peace in knowing ancestors are amongst us.

We heard the teaching today when we sat. Some chairs empty. But never really empty. We know the chairs are filled, by those we know are still with us.

Toronto. I connected with you this time in a very different context. Urgency. Sweetness. Shared deserts. Full out listening. Thinking its Tuesday when Monday did not even finish.

The consistency of knowing the stars are among us.

The gathering of knowledge where we realize the deep need to just be ourselves. And nothing else.

For My Auntie, Noshay, Tia Carolina

I want to say first of all, thank you for always making the time for me, for sharing stories with me, for making that time meaningful.

I will always remember the story of you telling me that, when you came to find me in Scarborough Ontario where my first seven years were spent, in townhouse, where the Land and forest still met the, the backyards, where I, spent most of my days, running around in black boots and sundresses.  We carry these stories from our childhood for life. I find this story for me, one that is of utmost importance.

You always told me the story of how you knew you found my neighbourhood because you found me: long bushy ponytails, sundress. boots. friends. I was always busy with the other children, and at the same time, a child of the sun, like you were.

Today Auntie, I thank you for my cousins.

They have been my best friends all these years. I have spent many hours with them, well more so as a child, and these days, more so with Jamie. I promise, to always check in with them, and with your granddaughters. I promise to share books, to share stories, to share, all I can. I remember my cousins, as children.

I think of you my Auntie, those days you gave me, beauty.

You were there at my wedding day to read a poem on Love. I asked you to, and you were happy to do so. You wore lavender to match. You also made special jam for my wedding, which we gave away as gifts. Everything touched with a bit of sweetness and love, your ways.

I will remember the foods you made.

The jam jam shortbread. The jam jam tarts of jam sweetness. The shortbread cookies. Other deserts other foods – trifle, pizzas, macaroni soup and bannock, moose meat and dumplings. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  Where we all ate so much we slept, together, feet touching on couches. Bush tea. Weiner bannock. Fried pickerel. More bannock.

I will remember the art you made.

And your beautiful art, the beautiful beadwork you made. The framed pictures I seen, of beaded flowers on black velvet. Barettes beaded with Anishinabe style flowers. Pinks. Blues. Purples. Oranges.

I will remember you as a strong mother of boys, of sons.

I see your wisdom over all these years. Of kindness, always outpouring. Offering me gentle guidances, usually over Facebook. I’d pose questions, and you were always there to answer. I learned from watching your ways as well. Menus up on the fridge. Coffee cups

I will remember, the importance of sisters, and how you loved yours with your heart, always using words like, sissy.

I will remember the love you had for your brothers. I will remember the love you had for everyone in each and everything thing you did.

You designed life with details of love. With order. With care.

As days go, as they will. I will remember, the soft lavender hills, that to me, look like
women. Like us. I will remember you in the moon, when she is a quarter, a half, full, then not there. I will remember you in the star closest to the moon. I will remember you by all shorelines, and blues of skies touching blues of water.

I will remember your commitment to Language, Anishinabae Mowin. Mother tongue.

I will most importantly remember how you have shared the language with the children. How you have maintained that fire within, and passed on, to children, to families.

You truly have done a lot Auntie, and we should all be so honoured by all you have taught us, all the hugs, all the laughter, all the time, and all the kindness.

Perhaps the most important message from you to me, is, Are we keeping well on the inside and the outside? Does our life serve us, well, or are we merely serving life? What keeps that fire alive? How can we keep poetry in our lives? How can we keep our stories strong? How can we learn about desire and freedom? Where have I travelled that makes me feel well? What stories has my life created?  How has our quiet helped us, in our path?  When we are alone, with, the stars, what story do they tell?

Your giving, was a huge part of who you are, and who I am too. Miigwetch. Gezagayin. Noshay, Tia Carolina.

famliy pic

List of Indigenous books/resources

Books are so important. They inform us, they include us, they heal us. Stories are who we are. We need to read more and more stories about and with our story included.
When I see the significant work done by Indigenous publishers, and some I have had the fortune of meeting along the way, I’m continually impressed by what they do. They are my role models. My mentors.

Writing is a lot like shining light. Telling a story. Sharing a narrative. Healing really. I will be adding to the list. Here are two publishers and one learning resources.

Follow this link too other resources from a webpage




Provincial Parks


There is a form where you can fill out or something or other requesting to use the park, in a spiritual significant manner where your fees are waived. I thought this would be really great for those of us who work on the frontline with clients, and families and Elders and want to access the parks, for activities.

Call your local park if you need one. I don’t have the link to it.


Shout out from TsuuTina & Calgary

Goodmoring world.

It is dark outside to the west where the Rocky Mountains sit.

When I lived in Calgary years ago, I’d feel sad seeing sunrises since they made me lonely for home back in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Landing in Calgary this time, I felt my heart, had reconnected with a very old friend.

I thank my old friends from Calgary, I’d have to say, a very busy place, who have texted and emailed me and said they’d make time for me, to visit. This actually says a lot about the friendliness of the west. When I had moved out here years ago and had my son I was immediately reassured with that charm.

Ill often tell the story about crossing 17th ave sw just to get a Starbucks. Traffic stopped in both directions. Me thinking, wow. I crossed, with my husband, to get a latte. We had visited Calgary in March of 2006 and decided it was a place we’d like to move to. We moved in June that year, and left Ontario. It was sad. Perhaps some thought we were selfish. But jobs are crucial for a family. Jobs mean, security. We did what was right for us at that time.

Now, I know, Alberta is facing a hard time in certain sectors. All I can say is I truly hope for new engagements. Revival of new businesses as I heard yesterday in Tssu Tina, as Hal Eagletail shared about economies, and reviving traditional economies. Also just about, the importance of the event centre. This huge building really amazed me. The details of the site are truly beautiful. I heard that business is important for all of us and that, its important to be innovative to think about ways to relate and build together. That the invite is there, to build, in regards to economies.

The Assembly of First Nations chose Calgary and Tsuu Tina, as a place to bring and invite 800 delegates. This says a lot. I think the choice to do it here was a very wise one. This means the Grey Eagle is booked solid. Other hotels I have heard are also booked, the Delta South, The Carriage Inn and a few others. This means, many of us are venturing out in Calgary and the area, to enjoy our stay.  It means giving back to a place that really can use the help. The gratitude I see is evident.

Day One agenda at the AFN was huge. If you look at the link to the agenda, you will see the magnitude of theAFN 2017 Education   There is so much work to do. We heard about schools on reserve, schools off reserve. I especially liked to hear about how our children, those off reserve, such as my own, and the work that is being done, to help to influence change, so that culture is reflected.

That even though, we run into deficits and have for years due to unfair and insufficient funding for our schools, which operate so much in the negative, that we have to rise above that, all, and be that pillar of culture, of strength.

Never to be defined by the deficits. That culture and language are especially critical. We know our children walk in both worlds. We have to be that guardian to our children, to, be that point of knowledge transfer. In our roles which are many.  I am hearing that culture is pretty much the most important safeguard. Which in reflection was always what, kept me in line as well. Those roots the keep us strong. Sometimes the roots are about family and community, sometimes our belonging is tied to our intellectual families, as well. There are so many reasons we feel those roots. Clearly the roots here is that we are all educators, leaders on education, with our various skills and gifts.

I had the opportunity to hear from delegates who attended the workshop i presented on,  “Designing an Approach that Roots Our Learners: Stories of the Land, Our Home”One important message I will leave with for today. An Elder told me as he left, and I wanted to record him so I would not forget, of course, I never forget stories shared.
He said that is was Two Feathers who said:“The Land is not given to us from our ancestors, it is loaned to us from our children.”