Thursday, April 19, 2018



Thursday, April 12, 2018


This semester I'm in a Land-based Indigenous Education course at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (UnBQ) called IYIS 103 with Instructor Kevin Lewis at his family's kâniyâsihk Culture Camps on ministikwan (Island Lake Cree Nation #161) within nehiyawak & Treaty No. 6 ancestral and inherent lands.

3 - Credit Course
4 - 2 Full Days on the Land


ᑳᓂᔮᓯᕁ kâniyâsihk Culture Camps are based in ᐃᓂᓂᐤ ininiw/ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ nehiyaw (Cree) teachings.

SOME OF THE CREW Along with the Amazing Stick Boys...Dennis, Derrick, Clifford, Kelly & the amazing cooks, ᓄᐦᑫᒼ nohkom, Matilda, Andrew, and all the other Helpers, including our relative helper from France (ᒥᐢᐱᑰᓯᐤ ᐅᐢᑳᐯᐤ mistikôsiw oskâpew), Brieux ...MUCH LOVE & APPRECIATION FOR YOU ALL!

"Many people have degrees but on the land, these people have degrees too, Land-based Degrees" [paraphrasing] - Kevin Lewis

First week of classes, I'm all excited to be back & listening and continue to fine tune Cree (ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐁᐧᐃᐧᐣ nehiyawewin).  This semester we get to be on the land more and learn and relearn our language and cultural teachings of the land. #IndigenousEducation


ᐸᐋᐧᐤ ᓂᑕᒋᒧᐃᐧᐣ ᐆᒪ
(Welcome, this is my journey/story)

Tan’si nitôtem’tik ekwa niwâhkôm-âkan’tik 
(Hello/Greetings my friends & all my relations)

wâpimahihkan ninehiyaw’wîhowin ekwa mîna Shannon Houle nit’siyikason 
(my Cree name is white wolf & also my name is Shannon Houle)

pamâyisk macîhtayân niwîmamisîn ka kisewatisit manitou ôma enanâskomoyân kîsikaw emîkosiyân
(Before I begin, I want to call out to the Creator and give thanks for another day, all of Creator’s creations, including my life gifted to me) 

askîw’kihcitamowin epimitisahamân ewîkîyân ekwa onihcik’skwapiwinihk kihci asotamâtowin nikotwâsik ohci nîya 
(I follow the laws of the land and I come from Saddle Lake on Treaty No. 6 Territory of the Cree)

I am a student who is challenged with not having a fluent speaker with me all the time and have to seek them out.  This is a challenge for many of us who have been affected by Language Loss due to colonial encroachment & influences & inter-generational oppression & genocide within our nations on Turtle Island since 1492.  This is just a fact! However, this fact does not define our destiny...there is an unstoppable spirited resurgence across our lands of our peoples reclaiming who we are...and I don't see this stopping but only getting stronger, daily!

Youth Are #Rising - Breaking Stereotypes!

These are the generations who will not be silenced...we will honour our parents, grandparents, capanak struggles and all they endured...we will #rise and learn the teachings on the lands and manito gift to all of us...we are reconnecting & relearning the interdependent relationship of Mother Earth and all her beings.  We will remember our place in all of this, that the land does not belong to us...we belong to it!


She told me not to ever forget my Creeness and have high respect and pride. Cree people are of the land, we’re put on this land, and I should not allow anyone to make me think otherwise

We have 4 (four) 2-day classes and we have many goals to achieve & teachings to embed into our mind, spirit, body, & heart (miteh) for lifelong holistic learning.

As I was out there in -35ºc to -47ºc temperatures with my fellow nitôtemak ekwa niwahkomakanak (my friends & relations) & each day is opened with ceremony...everything is done in ceremony.

"The Land is Ceremony"

sîpitakanep kihci kiskinohamatokamikohk

Let the Facebook posts, videos and pictures tell the story


Finally out of bush lol after 2 full days of living life to the fullest

Was awesome... no phone and wifi & phones kept freezing to take pictures lol
-37 today on the ice - MISTAHIS'Y'SIK (really cold) - KISIN..KISIN...KISIN burrrrrrrrr ⛄
  • ⛺Setting up Camp: MANOKEWIN
  • Jigger (Pulling under the ice): SÎPÂSKPOICIKAN
  • Setting Traps / Set a trap / Trapping: WANIHIKEWIN / WANIYIHKE / WANIHIHKE
  • I caught the beaver in a trap: NITASOHÂW AMISK
  • I caught my man in a trap: NITASÔHÂW NÎCIMOS 😂😜
    • 😂 Laughter is good medicine
  • Snare / Setting Snares: TÂPAKWAN / TÂPAKEW
  • Net / Setting Net: APAPÎ / PAK'TAHWÂ
  • I skinned beaver: NIPAHKONÂW AMISK
  • Hide/Skin/Fur: WAYÂN
  • S/he skins it: PAHKONAM
  • To skin: PAHKONA
  • To skin something: PAHKON'KE
  • I went to ceremony: KÂKÎSIHTÂYÂN IYIS'TÂWIN
  • Visiting / Visiting Far: KÎHOKEWIN / KIYÔTEWIN 
  • Cree Language: NEHIYAWEWIN
  • Feast & Cooking: WIHKIHKEWIN & NAWACIWIN
  • Kinship: WAHKOHTOWIN...
  • We all ate wild meat: KÎMÎCITAN WIYÂS
  • Lots of Food: MÎCIWIN MISTAHI
  • 🌞🔥Fire: ISKOTEW
  • Pipe: OSPWÂKAN
  • Pipe Stem: ASKITCI
  • 🌎Mother Earth / Land: OKÂWÎMÂWASKIY / ASINIY
  • Mother Earth gives us life: OKÂWÎMÂWASKIY KIPIMÂCIHIKONAW
  • Rock: ASKIY
  • ✨Spirit/Star: AHCAHK/AHCAKOS 💥
  • Soul Flame: AHCAHK ISKOTEW
  • Prayer: KAKISIMON
    • Sweetgrass: WÎHKASKWA
  • Fish: KINOSEW
    • Whitefish: ATIHKAMEK
    • Perch: ASÂWESIS
    • Pickerel: OKÂW (namoya nawatin)
    • Jackfish / Pike: IYINIKINOSEW
    • Sucker: NAMEPIY
    • Mariah: MÎYAY
  • Four Legged Onces:
    • Rabbit: WÂPOS
    • Moose: MÔSWA
    • Beaver: AMISK
    • Buffalo: PASKWÂW MOSTOS
    • Deer: ÂP'SI'MÔSOS
    • Dogs: ATIMWAK

Laughter...the best stuff #IndigenousEducation #UnBQIYIS103

“Degrees off the ones ever!” 👍🏽❤️😉

Already anxious for next month...& so so excited to make my own Beaver Mitts...I was wishing for this for so long!

#Dreams #Wishes #MakingThemHappen



I can bead but I have no Patience for it, it's my brother's love hahah







...and to honour our families & 
those who have left before us, our Ancestors!

nohtâwiy ekwa nosisim

nîya ekwa nohkompan


enohte nehiyaweyân ekwa enohte kiskinohamawakik nehiyawe-win nitawasimisak nosisimak ekwa nitâniskotâpânak
(I want to learn to speak Cree and I want to teach my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren)



Every time an Elder or Knowledge Keeper passes on to the other world, a library leaves with them...


ᑳᔭ ᑑᒧᐠ ᐋᑲᒣᔨᒧᐠ
kâya pômok âkameyimok
(Don't give up, persevere/keep trying)


kinanaskom'tinawaw mistahi niwahkomakanak ekwa nitôtemak
💖 kikâsâkihitin 💕 kahkiyaw kahkîke
(Thank you with a lot of great appreciation my relations & friends, I will love you all forever)

and on behalf of my apsis denésuline blood also - maci cho 😙


keyâpic ôma esihtoskâtoyahk ekwa kinanâskom’tinâwâw mistahi
(We are still here and I am very grateful to you all)

mîna kihtwâm
(See you later and if not, I will see you in the next world)

ekosi mâka

(That’s all for now)

ay ay
(Thank you)

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Last week I was assisting a friend to expose racist behavior near a local town surrounded by many First Nation Reservations.  Many of this town's residents have been known for generations to racial profile, conduct racially violent actions, and condone racism in the town since it was overtaken and stolen from Metis Settlers in the area...

As a result of the Facebook post, it was removed several times and put on Facebook Jail (not allowed to post, comment, or use imessenger) for 24 hours.  At the time I found it ironic because in the past many highly racism posts were made for years against people of color and it took many people to get the posts removed but like a Black Pastor in California stated while doing a talk with well known speaker, Time Wise, Facebook is a "White Privileged Social Media" platform that supports Whiteness...

So so true...therefore, I thought I would share further explanation of White Fragility because this is what I see when confronting this Mental Conditioning...

BELOW IS Isaiah Hines WORDS:

Isaiah Hines
May 25 at 9:07pm · South Burlington, VT, United States ·

It’s come to my attention that this image is circulating the “Rebel Alliance” Facebook page and is generating quite a bit of confusion. Just wanted to clear up a few things. This is a picture of me, one year ago, giving my final presentation for my AP Psychology class. For this project, we were allowed to choose any psychology-related concept to research and present to the class. I chose ‘white fragility’. I stand by my presentation and the concept of white fragility and here’s why.
White fragility is a term coined by Westfield State University professor Robin DiAngelo. It refers to a mental state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive actions and biological responses. It is a well-researched, well-documented psychological phenomenon and it was entirely appropriate for the assignment. My psychology teacher also fully approved of the presentation.

Part of why white fragility occurs is because we are falsely taught that racism is an issue solely of moral and immoral people rather than as an issue deeply embedded in our nation's systems and institutions. This means that people believe if they are a good person with good morals, they are incapable of being racist. So, when white people are called out for saying or doing something racially insensitive, they believe they are being called an immoral, bad person. This explains much of the defensiveness.

In truth, as Americans, we are raised in a racist society that exists as a result of our extensive and violent history of race-based oppression, we are all socialized to have racist tendencies. Saying and doing racist things by mistake does not make you a bad person. Everyone will make these mistakes at some point. Instead of seeing being called out as a personal attack on your character, I encourage people to try to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

The reason it is so important to understand this concept is that it can be a HUGE barrier to having effective conversations on race and racism. 

White fragility allows people not to be held accountable for their words and actions, it allows white people to govern when and how racism is discussed, and it reinforces racial power dynamics thus upholding the white supremacy within our society.

I did find it just a little funny how many of the people responding to this image with anger or indignation are actually displaying the psychological concept in action! 

I’ve attached the link to my actual presentation below. I HIGHLY suggest everyone take a look!

A Psychological Analysis of the Social Phenomenon That Is White Fragility
By Isaiah Hines

What Is White Fragility?
  • The term ‘white fragility’ was coined by Robin DiAngelo. 
  • It refers to a mental state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable. This then triggers a range of defensive moves. 
  • In America, white people live in a social environment that protects them from race-based stress.
  • As a result, white people get to set expectations for racial comfort which in turn lowers their tolerance for racial-stress.
Why Is It A Bad Thing?
  • The term ‘white fragility’ was coined by Robin DiAngelo.
  • It refers to a mental state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable. This then triggers a range of defensive moves.
  • In America, white people live in a social environment that protects them from race-based stress.
  • As a result, white people get to set expectations for racial comfort which in turn lowers their tolerance for racial-stress.
Why Does This Happen?

  • Most white people understand racism solely as an issue of moral and immoral people.
  • They believe if they’re a good person with good intentions, they can’t be racist.
  • They also tend to believe that racism consists of easily identifiable singular acts such as racial slurs, hate crimes, etc.
  • When white people are called out for doing something racist, they tend to think they are being called a bad person, which upsets them. 
How Can We Avoid It?

  • There is no such thing as “reverse racism”
  • There is no such thing as “colorblindness”
  • Racism is not always overt and due to the racist society that we live in, we are all capable of it.
  • Simply speaking about race is not racist.
  • When called out for saying/doing something racist, take it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • You are never “done” unlearning racism.
  • Learn how to listen and never try to dominate a conversation on racism with a person of color.

Also, here are some links that I’ve often used when facilitating discussions on this topic. I find both of these pieces extremely helpful and educational.

'White fragility' is a defensive response to real conversations about race.

White Fragility

by Robin DiAngelo

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility. I am a white woman. I am standing beside a black woman. We are facing a group of white people who are seated in front of us. We are in their workplace, and have been hired by their employer to lead them in a dialogue about race. The room is filled with tension and charged with hostility. I have just presented a definition of racism that includes the acknowledgment that whites hold social and institutional power over people of color. A white man is pounding his fist on the table. His face is red and he is furious. As he pounds he yells, “White people have been discriminated against for 25 years! A white person can’t get a job anymore!”

I'm happy to respond to any questions or concerns or just further explain this concept if anyone is interested. Just let me know!

See the original post on Facebook below:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Healing Through Neurodecolonization and Mindfulness"

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

"Healing through neurodecolonization and mindfulness"

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird speaks at Portland State University, "Healing through neurodecolonization and mindfulness". Indigenous scholar and activist, citizen of the Arikara (Sahniish) and Hidatsa Nations in North Dakota. Dr. Yellow Birds activism focuses on: Native American and other Indigenous Peoples cultural and political rights; Indigenous Peoples’ health and wellness, neurodeocolonization and mindfulness; and Colonization and methods of Decolonization.

He is also co-editor and author of several books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005 (with Dr. Waziyatawin); Indigenous Social Work around the World: Towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008 (with Drs. Mel Gray and John Coates); For Indigenous Minds Only, 2012 (with Dr. Waziyatawin); and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013 (with Mel Gray, John Coates, and Tiani Hetherington)

DECOLONIZING THE MIND from cheryle easter on Vimeo.

PowerPoint From 2015: Concepts of Traditional Mindfulness and Neurodecolonization of the Mind and Body

Dr. Michel Yellow Bird attended the Indigenous Thought Conference as a Keynote Speaker at the University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills from May 2-5, 2017

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes, (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara), and a Professor of Sociology and Director of Indigenous Tribal Studies at North Dakota State University. He joined the NDSU faculty in the fall of 2014. He has held faculty and/or academic administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, and Humboldt State University.

His teaching, writing, research, and community work focus on Indigenous Peoples’ health, leadership, and cultural rights; the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization; decolonizing social work approaches; decolonizing war and military service; neurodecolonization and mind body approaches; neuroscience and Indigenous Peoples; traditional mindfulness and contemplative practices; ancestral and paleo eating and lifestyle; and the Rights of Mother Earth.