This past weekend was an amazing experience. I was able to attend the fundraising event called “Raising our voices” for the February 14 Memorial March for missing and murdered Aboriginal women. It was such a great event a gallery called the “Toronto Free Gallery.” I was able to finally meet Jessica Danforth (Jess Yee) in person along with Erin Konsmo (the lovely lady who did the artwork for the event) and see familiar faces like Krysta from Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Also, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Lee Maracle.
Maracle is an amazing woman who I have only met via her writings. She was one of the first published Aboriginals in the 1970s, and she even wrote a book on Indigenous feminism without any citations (as Jessica puts it, “who says you have to cite?” and Maracle paved the path for that). Maracle and I were able to talk for about 10 minutes (well, it felt like 10 minutes but it might have been longer–I secretly wish it could have been longer). However, in that moment of talking with Maracle, I was able to learn a lot about my own self and home First Nation.
I am from the Garden River First Nation and I learned that it had some Metis background associations. I remember telling Maracle that I always wondered about where all of my friends’ and family’s French sounding last names came from. Belleau. Thibault. Boissoneau. Perreault. Even Sayers. She told me that my last name probably originated from France and that the name probably came from a middle class family…not lower class. I guess that proves the story that I once heard as a child that one of our great great great (give or a take a great *lol*) grandmother originated from Paris, France, is true. After learning this, I wondered if any of my ancestors had enjoyed a “middle class family” lifestyle?
Anyways, it was nice to know a bit more about my long-long-long ago past. I wrote a post titled “Something I wonder about” and wondered where did my non-native last name come from? You can read that post HERE.
Sitting here writing this post, I think to myself that isn’t it nice how life works out as if to almost to come a complete circle? I think so.
We did talk about other things as well like Aboriginal issues in the classroom and the analogy she gave was certainly dead on… but that will be saved for another post 😉