My name is now Adrennajenn, affectionately compared to Adrenaline.
I have had the opportunity to become aware.
I am a Manitoban and a person who is creative and enthusiastic (see: nickname Adrennajenn) and am passionate about the earth and life around me.
About a decade ago I met a really authentic woman named Amanda. I lived in the community with her called Flatlanders in a church building in the centre of downtown on Main Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We learned to take turns washing dishes, cooking together, sharing life and its challenges together.
She is full of the earth and thrives on community focus. She just lives her life this way, always. She is always trying to be cognisant of the universe of life around her. She is a land tender. A tender of the land of people… I got to know her through Flatlanders and the vineyard church about ten years ago in Winnipeg.
At the time, I myself was at risk of homelessness. I stayed there for about one year living alongside Main Street. I volunteered in the soup kitchen and on the street, getting to know many indigenous folks in the neighborhood who were struggling and homeless or who also stayed with Flatlanders. We all had something in common; we all craved community.
Amanda recently invited me to participate as a singer for a song just recently released entitled: “Dam Shame.”
I am one of the voices. 😊
Just listening to the song and learning the lyrics, I realized these were powerful problems we were singing about. Several times I became overwhelmed with emotion wondering, “How can I help?” I am just one person and this is a big problem.
Since learning about these issues, I have emailed the both the Premier and Prime Minister. This happening shortly after the news release came out about 215 children buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School. I wrote, “How dare we be calling for apologies when we are still washing away the Indigenous communities today and right now?”
Apologies are absolutely necessary. What do we say when someone we care about has something upsetting happen to them?
“I am so sorry that happened to you.” Was I directly to blame? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t mean someone in anguish doesn’t need to hear this from another person so say, “Yes, you matter! What happened to you is not okay!”
We are apologizing on one hand and creating tomorrow’s apologies for the children of tomorrow right now! I let them know that as a home owner, I am not okay with this. I learned about South Indian Lake and how we lost the second biggest fishery in Manitoba, and the third largest white fish industry in North America. What a lost resource…Why would we let that go?
I heard about the sturgeon and how our Manitoba Sturgeon are endangered and we are now forcing their extinction. The sturgeon population is in a very delicate place now. I then looked up sturgeon and realized this fish dates back to the Cretaceous period, unchanged, which is rare. Its predecessor leads all the way back to the Triassic period. A living fossil fish!
They are bottom feeder which may not seem important, but they are natural cleaners for our lakes and rivers. They live to be up to 100 years old in ideal water conditions. They do not become mature until approximately age 17 and only mate on average every 4 years which means this is a really hard population of fish to recover. That is what makes it more urgent that we act now.
I live in a rural town called Strathclair. I knew the sturgeon marking event would create some talk in my town and I am excited to be part of a project designed to raise awareness! I like to push people’s mindsets in a progressive way to be open to learning and to bring about great positive change.
I have always tried to be an Indigenous ally.
I myself spent years in the custody of Child and Family Services group homes, thus I grew up living among many First Nations children.
I have always felt my heart beat quicken when I hear the drums.
I can help, and I want change, so I must be an agent of change.
When I went into my local post office wearing all my orange in support of the Indigenous community in mourning of the loss of First Nations children. I spoke out on the issue and someone said, “Oh I can’t believe we are hearing about this again and things we weren’t involved in so many years ago.”
I said, “This is still happening!” I was in shock. I tried to explain and they shouted, “Oh what about the 4000 Ukrainian girls that were drowned?” What an insensitive and racist reaction to the discovery of a mass grave of Indigenous children!
How numb has our society become to react that strongly in opposition of supporting mourning the loss of children. Any child?
I’m always in shock.at the audacity of people to say such things when 215 children were found in school yard graves. The person who made these comments works in the postal system. So, I reported it to the federal government. It’s a federal job, so I went straight to the top. There is no time to climb a ladder. This is a federally represented business and Justin Trudeau just called for an apology.
I emailed on Saturday and got an answer before 9 am on the following Monday. I also sent emails to the government about the hydro dam related concerns, but I have not received a response as of yet. But I did hear about their lack of tolerance for racism in postal workers and that the matter will be investigated.
I am angry at people’s attitudes. If you don’t want to hear about it, then damn well help make change so tomorrow’s children don’t have to do it for us. If you are tired about hearing about something THEN DO SOMETHING. Start with one thing. I read somewhere that “someone should do something.” I am one person, so why can’t it be me?
I’m fed up with people complaining about issues and then doing nothing about them.
I have realized that
DOING NOTHING IS A CHOICE.
I realized it is in my hands. I have to say enough. If we tell them and they do nothing, then it is on them. When we see the problem and walk away doing nothing; then we are contributing to the problem. So here I am. Trying to learn more and seeing how I can help. 😊
Stand up and speak! Say you have had enough!
Rise up Anishinaabe! Stand up, rise up!
It is time. I hear you. I am so sorry we have devastated your culture. I see the brokenness and refuse to do nothing. I hear your cry. Wail out. Wayyyyyooooo wayyyooo wayo wayyyyo wayooo!!!
I smudge and ask forgiveness for cleansing of our land and people. To bring healing to all of us and to bring unity to save the land, to save the fish, to save the people. I promise to never give up offering community and support to those who took care of this land before us. We are all but a stitch in time. What will I choose to sew into the generation of tomorrow? I am committed to be a tender of the earth and to continue to strive to create life around me. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it starts with one step forward.
If one wants to move mountains. One should start with small stones.
We all need each other. Destruction to other humans no matter who they are is not better for any of us. #bettertogether
But first is the willingness to be open to learning.
When you stop learning you stop life. We are but humble servants of the earth all of us. We need you too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is the start of being brave and being open to walk forward into a future we all want. Ethically, responsibly and with awareness.
To those of you who are suffering still. I am sorry. I am one person, but all things start with one movement, right?
Miigwetch to our First Nations people in Manitoba and across Canada trying to make change.
I hope I can help push to make change.