An invite is all I need
It is a joke to local First Nations that if you mention an event in the presence of others they are automatically invited, so many social functions are open invites to all families and individuals when formally invited it is obligatory to attend. I love open invites! I knew times were changing when I was invited to attend a decolonizing lecture "teaching on stolen land" at a local university six months ago. I was the only Coast Salish Indigenous person present. I felt an obligation to voice thanks for the acknowledgment of my people and encouraged all who attended if they received anything from the talk to 'give back' by sharing what they learned with peers family or friends. I found a friend who sent me a link to this site. I like hearing other women conquering adversity and rising to the top through expression. In similar stories of oppression by mandate of imposed male dominant policies and procedures for my people it is the Indian Act. I believe representing our different Nations not like the way an Indian Act does: to divide families into Bands to better organize the people by assigning an identity through surnames and Band numbers. Many women ostracized from local community Band councils or local First Nations organizations because they are too vocal about improper spending or unhealthy practices or procedures. The men are often given esteem and rewarded for criminal practices socially or financially within this Canadian framework. In an attempt to undo these wrongs it is important to work together, share stories and successes. We formed a Spoken Word Collective as result of that lecture in order to appreciate each- others contribution and experience and expertise in respective fields. I recommend others to not under estimate the power of an invitation and the opportunity to show your support in your respective community even when there are issues of great hardship. We can battle them together. I really feel we are moving forward through empowering one another and having fun focusing on what is important: beauty of nature, love for our children and protecting what is sacred.