About being an Indigenous Woman

As an Indigenous mother I know, I have to stand a little taller, and remember the strong legs I stand on, that have stood in the faces of both beauty and oppression, especially for my son’s.
These same legs which have carried me miles from my homeland to places far, wide and then back again, to home.
That have carried not one, but two bodies: mine and my child, four times over.
By building those muscles I am committing to walking a path of beauty, confidence and strength.
 I walk with responsibilities as a mother and nation builder, and especially sister and daughter of the nations.

Beauty is something bestowed on all of us, in magnitudes and that we should never be ashamed of our body, certainly not the one the Creator gave us.

That we are a walking testimony of Love.

Strength is about loving that shade of mocha I am in.
Strength is about choosing colours that make me feel beautiful.
Strength is about embracing a caring and loving attitude.
Courage is about accepting values of beauty rooted in your strength.
Courage is about being in love with the ones you were blessed with.
Courage is about being open to love because it is that Love that healed you in the first place.
“DNA is Earth and Sky. The evolution. The continuation.”
(J Trudell)

“I questioned myself, but Ramona the strong woman is back.” #RamonaBigHead #Strength #Resilience

“This is nothing new,” says Linda Many Guns, a professor in the Native American studies department at the University of Lethbridge. “The only reason we are talking about this particular incident is, somebody hit the wrong button and sent a message to the wrong person.”

While many of the incidents have occurred in and around Lethbridge, Many Guns doesn’t single it out as an urban hotbed of racism. “Anywhere you have a large population of indigenous people within a larger community, this will happen,” she says, noting that the Blood reserve is only 65 kilometres from that city.

Ramona Big Head, who has yet to receive a direct apology from the sender of the text, says she was first crushed by the slur. “I started to internalize it, like I was my fault,” she says. “I questioned myself, but Ramona the strong woman is back.”

In fact, the experience has been nothing short of transformational.























“I am not going to be silent anymore,” says the educator and current PhD candidate, who has been receiving messages of support from across the country.

g’ zaa’ gan / i love you

wild rice dreams

when i was young
a girl with crooked thick braids
all i really wanted to hear
was my mama’s voice saying,
i love you

or wishing my mama would hold me close
wrap me in her wiry arms so that i could smell
the cigarette smoke hiding in her hair

this she could never do though
from a past never spoken
i asked my mother how
to say i love you in anishnaabemowin
and she tells me

i ask her again
how do you say i love you

and she says it louder,

she says it as if i am deaf and the words are digging into the hard earth
so, i ask her again knowing
this is the only time
i will hear her say
these words

she says it over and over again

g’zaa’gan, g’zaa’gan, g’zaa’gan

until she shakes loose an imaginary skin

she is…

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