Saturday, August 6, 2016

RED ROAD TO HEALING JOURNEY: Day 5

Day 5 (August 5, 2016):


Good Morning Everyone,

Today is Saturday, August 6, 2016 but this is a Journal entry for Friday, August 5, 2016. 

Good Morning
As I’m sitting here outside my canvas tent drinking my first morning coffee I can say it was really nice to sleep in all cozy in my sleeping bag and “the sun was awake”…lol reminds me of nosisim (grandchild) Nova’s favorite movie, “Frozen” in that scene…”get up Anna, the moon is awake…I’m a awake…let’s go make a snowman” hahahaha…yes, the sun is awake, the birds are singing and that woodpecker is also pecking in the distance…it’s a perfect nature setting even complete with Sasquatch’s love interest in the tent snoring away…ahhhh the beauty of nature…it’s completeness. 

Other’s are still asleep but Tim just walked up to get his tools from one of the tents…so thankful him and his family are following their hearts and created this program with his mom…this is what happens when families join together for a common goal of helping others and doing it from their heart and soul. It was interesting yesterday when Shirley was sharing in group of how this program came about. She was sharing that after she worked years to heal herself and help others after becoming a Social Worker, she remained connected to support systems and it was one of those group support systems who helped fund this program…she said she was surprised, really didn’t know if they would but she took a risk and presented the proposal. I can tell you I am one who is grateful and I’m sure the ones participating are too. 

It’s a Pilot Project but already in these 5 days I am extremely grateful…it’s felt like I have been in a War Zone for a while and it’s on my own Ancestral Lands and battling an Indian Act Oppressive Genocidal System, that it not only, the non Indigenous oppressors of this system, at the helm, but they have also (some aware and many unaware they are reinforcing the system) recruited so so many of our Indigenous people to keep enforcing this genocidal system. It is pure GENOCIDE and I will not downgrade it or minimize it just because some feel it too harsh or too mean etc…

I say this, I will not minimize it, because it isn’t “Cultural Genocide~ IT'S STRAIGHT GENOCIDE…period ⚫️  

Indian Residential Schools was part of that genocide...

(Check out Tamara Starblanket's published dissertation, "Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Children, and the Canadian State") 

I say this because once you hear the stories of the people in my daily group circle…you will begin to understand the fight to exist they are enduring…persevering through…the battle they are surviving…

I feel it so much, especially at a nation/community level…it may sound cynical but our people are in a state of crisis, we do have high suicides, weekly funerals, highest rate of children in care, prostitution, rapes, violence etc…you name it and no age, gender, or person is exempt…we are all impacted…if we weren’t we would be Aliens…from some other planet just hovering above observing the self destruction happening…this is what some call “Successful Assimilation or Genocide” when the Oppressors can sit back and the ones oppressed, for generations, have completely internalized the oppression and do it to themselves and those around them…it’s a self defeating system.

Don’t get me wrong, yes, it sounds depressing and it definitely is… that’s my point. So many live in depression and feel helpless!

However, as I sit here on our lands, breathing the air, drinking the water, feeling all around me…I whole heartedly feel the hope, the love, the caring, the comforts of Creation…and I’m connected to it all…even after I got my coffee and smudged with the 4 medicines in the 4 directions... Fungas, Cedar, Sage, and Sweetgrass…I reconnected even more…to “that Sacred System” which will lift me, us… ~ the 4 Laws and Ways of Knowing Creator intended.

As I type this many tiny birds landed in front of me and said "hello" to remind me of how fragile we all are but YET we all have Wings to Fly...

we only need to use them and believe…believe in something, anything that will get you to where you need to be to move forward and get out of the trenches of the war zone…

so so grateful my nimosompan (my late grandfather) Joe Houle sang the Sundance Songs that night, so long ago, in the literal WWII Trenches in Italy in the 1940s when he felt and thought he was going to die…grateful the Elders taught him the songs…they told him to sing them if he feels he might not make it and our ceremonial songs will help lift his spirit.

This is the same blood that flows through me and so many others have the same type of blood…especially those whose families went through those war zoned Indian Residential Schools…

Yes, my spirit, mind, heart, and even my body are feeling those pains…yesterday, all day my body physically ached…but today I woke feeling replenished…the Lands just do that when you don’t even realize it...heal!

The morning group was heavy, I cried but my tears also had hope and joy too…not only pain…but grief and loss isn’t easy…it’s not a process so many of us learn…our ceremonies and teachings that used to guide us through are so fractured that our teachings are forgotten or replaced by silence, don’t feel, replace, don’t cry, stay busy, it will get better, it is what it is…and so many more crippling messages we get to NOT DEAL with Grief and Loss!

However, water is healing and as those tears fell from my face to the floor or my shirt…each tear drop was a healing and blessing…I was releasing…tears were made for a reason, I was told once…they have a purpose…

Later we did some Archery and man oh man I got some bad bruising on my forearm hahaha…I’m learning…but I can’t get over how good Sheri is…she is a natural and you can see her strength in that bow when you see that target fighting to stay up as it rocks…back and forth, back and forth…hahaha…yup…I will never starve with her around hahaha

Here moose...moose...lol

WE GOT THIS!


Yup as we moved into the weekend, we had a delicious supper made with love by Tracey and settled down for a movie night…only thing we were missing was popcorn…guess what’s on my list when I head to town to do laundry and get supplies etc…POPCORN and Marshmallows too…this was also missing too when had an evening camp fire last night…

Well, all I gotta say is, I am praying this program continues…it is what the doctor ordered, hey Dr. James 🌾

I will not be posting for the weekend but I plan to find a river to jump into, go check out some mountains, and live life…not just survive it!

See you all back next week and please if anything, laugh from the heart, say “I love you” to at least someone this weekend…even if it’s you!

KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Friday, August 5, 2016

RED ROAD TO HEALING JOURNEY: Day 4

Day 4 (August 4, 2016):


What can I say about this day. As I was laying in my sleeping bag last night I was reflecting on the day. Had to take this day a little slower... I didn’t participate in horse riding or yoga but I did go for a long walk today…actually a few times.


The first time I walked, in the afternoon, I went with my sister-cousin Sheri and it’s amazing how a walk can also be a great therapy of sharing and processing the day. We discussed our morning session of sharing in the Grief and Loss session with Shirley. Today had some hard tears for some and it was draining but after some of us took time to relax and even take an afternoon nap. I usually don’t like to nap but today I had to even though I wasn’t planning on it. I had decided after lunch to start on my reading and planned to be immersed into that but my body had other plans lol…not even into four or five pages I was soon asleep…it was awesome…in a canvas tent with the flaps and window open with a nice breeze flowing through…it was a perfect setting…I could smell the spruce and hear the birds and the sun coming through the trees was just enough to make it cozy…so cozy my mind, body, soul, and heart surrendered to it and I was fast asleep…dreaming, replenishing, rejuvenating, and gaining my strength…


Today I was really thinking about my dad and mom today…so I called my mom and she was so happy to hear from me…she was looking for an AA meeting when I called and that was so nice to hear she was doing some of her own healing again too. Glad she is back this way and she is more closer for us to help her as she is challenged physically. My mom is 70 years old and she has lived many years on this earth, a diabetic, and cancer survivor. My dad is 68 years old, a cancer survivor too and yes, younger than my mom…my mom was a cradle robber hahahaha jokes



"I Love You" is not only words...

Ya, as I was talking to my mom she was so happy for me and I was telling her I have to call dad and let him know how I’m doing, he usually calls too, now a days, to know how I’m doing…it’s great because we used to sometimes go months, even a year without talking but not these days…we try to keep in touch, I love it because we all even tell each other we love each other…something many who have heard the stories or were part of the story of Indian Residential Schools know, that saying “I love you” wasn’t an option…so saying it today is a blessing in it’s self too. I remember when I came home from the United States in 1999, my one goal was to tell my dad that I loved him every time I talked to him and one day he will say it too. Now don’t get me wrong, my dad loves me, this has never been an issue, after all, I was his girl when I was small when he would hold me tight on the couch and we would lay there while he watched TV and he was holding his baby girl…this is and was any girl’s dream of daddy…I had that and grateful for it. But like any family engulfed with traumas, grief, losses etc..families start hurting and memories like that start to become rare and far between so you can understand that saying “I love you” wasn’t common at all especially for a family that has come from two generations of Indian Residential Schools (IRS) and now trying to raise the next generation (me) with parenting skills learned from IRS, it can get pretty dysfunctional. So ya, when my dad says “I love you” it means a lot to me and today he says it and it is amazing to me because a father and daughter relationship is important…dad’s are key to the life of a child too…

ᑭᑲᓴᑭᑎᐣ  ᑲᑭᑫ
"I will love you always" ~ kikasâkitin kâkike (nêhiyawewin - Cree)

Yes, this was a very inspirational learning day to the core of my heart and soul and I am so very very grateful for it and I am also grateful l had the opportunity to hold my sister today too as she is on her journey too here…

Our walk was great, and later I went for another walk but alone this time and much farther…I was gone for a few hours and just taking in the land, the trees, the air and a deer also graced me with it’s presence…I thanked it…there was a young buck that made an appearance and it made me think of my son and reminded me that he is in Creator’s hands…my heart prayed for him…he has his own journey too but I hope he remembers we are never alone and never walk alone, Creator is always there, we just need to reach for him and ask…I love you Germain Ian Houle…each breath I take and each heart beat I send to you too for strength!

Our Children Are Our Reminders to Be the Best We Can Be… and our children are our rewards too…reminding us that love is unconditional!

We did have many healing laughs today too but it was mainly a reflection day and taking a step back to ground myself…get back to the heart of what really matters…the heart and soul…and our connections to family, friends, and even all that surrounds us…

Morgan did teach us how to make an amazing healthy dessert and she shared with us that real cocoa releases the same endorphins that are released when we fall in love and why so many people make the connection between cocoa and love...

I can't remember the name of the dessert but I made one up to call it Cocoa Sasquatch Droppings, it reminded me of that but it is delicious...we had a good laugh because again it was made with love and laughter and we did laugh over the joy of learning and enjoying Soul Food!




I was so grateful today too for Sheri being my muse too and helping me complete Day 3 of my journey, she really helped inspire the really craziness of that entry hahaha…she really brings out that side of me hahahaha..my sister, I love her so much and so blessed to have her back in my life again…Creator answered my prayers and did watch over her and made sure I was available for her again when she needed me…we are blood!

Grief is a process…shouldn't be ignored...but embraced...love will guide…


I really miss my family, they are in my prayers and heart…Creator is watching over them!

ᐊᐧᐱᒪᐦᐊᐦᑲᐧᐣ  ᓂᔭ  ᐅᒪ
wâpimahahkwan niya oma
(I am White Wolf)

RED ROAD TO HEALING JOURNEY: Day 3

Day 3 (August 3, 2016):


Our day was like a roller coaster of emotions…the morning was a bit heavy. We did our Grief and Loss session and Shirley Dufour shared her story of her 10 years in Indian Residential School from the age of 5 years to 14 years.

Her story is as unique as her but thousands of children have the similar painful story no child should have ever went through. She shared her long road back which eventually lead her to where she is today as a 69 year old retired Social Worker. Her story is a story of deep deep pain but of also resilience and like she said, I am more than a “Survivor”. She is defiantly that, she is a Hero, a Warrior Woman, a Beautifully Vibrant Spirited Indigenous Woman… she is so much more that there are no words to describe her…you need to be in a space with her to feel her soul…and you will understand she is so so much more…the Creator wasn’t messing around when he made her hahaha

It was a special morning listening to her story and others sharing parts of themselves too…for some, they have never shared what they shared. This shows our group is getting stronger each day and this place is part of creating these strong connections…it’s so inviting, loving, and safe!

The afternoon was awesome with horse back riding. We got used to our horses more and Tracey showed us great skills as she is a professional horse trainer and it was nice to listen and learn. I loved riding Maverick for a bit and remembered how much I hate trotting lol. So Tracey had me do it so I can learn to like it…I used to hate it so much we used to just put the horses straight into full gallop, when we were kids…but it’s never too late to change my ways hahaha



For supper, Morgan taught us how to make a very healthy raw food meal called Pan Tai and it was absolutely amazing…we also talked of the importance of respecting the food as you prepare it and thinking good thoughts and putting love and care into the food so that the food also assists you, and those you prepared for, to eat a healthy foods that also heals and feeds your soul, mind, and spirit too.

We were laughing lots and told the others we put laughter into it and it was so true because during our supper we had the hardest laughs to the point my stomach was hurting and I was crying hahahaha.

I was eating cherries my mom brought from British Columbia and they made my mouth, teeth, and tongue purple and it made everyone laugh so hard…we couldn’t stop laughing…the healing was so amazing…and for those who really know me, I am VERY SHY (hee hee) jokes! I can already hear my family and friends as they read this say, “YA RIGHT” and laugh shaking there heads.

Yup I lost 3 pounds off my belly with all that laughing (hahahahaha…..)




Oh ya, on my afternoon walk around the huge lands area, I found some memekwesis (little people) and their entrance...so I think I will go take some things to them this weekend..always have to say hello to my Clan...


The evening was closed with some deep yoga…oh my, am I out of shape lol

I was stretching, ouching…if that is even a word…but if it isn’t, it is now!

It was all good though, so grateful for Callie doing Yoga with us and for being such a young woman, very inspiring to see a youth going to school to become a Yoga Instructor. I feel the same about Morgan, she is learning about Healthy Foods etc..and teaching us so so much. Kind of missing Brenda already and her teachings, this is Tracey’s sister who is teaching us all the medicines etc…but we will see her next week...YA!


Now Sheri is getting pretty prepped to be a hunter...she is learning Archery and damb...I'm already scared! 15 minutes in, she was hitting her targets...I yelled,"Hey sister, let your ancestral instincts kick in"...and all be dambed, she hit 4 arrows in all 4 directions...now if that isn't Indian enough for anyone, I don't know what is hahaha!



Humbled, Inspired, Healing, Loving, Laughter, Joy

…so many emotions today…we closed with Smores by the fire and good ol' fashion story telling.





I also posted some of my experiences so far on Facebook too...so check them out!







As for the end of the day...I walked back to my tent in the dark of night to Sheri snoring & she woke up saying she heard something outside...so there I was again outside checking to make sure she was safe...we wouldn't want Sasquatch to take a shining to her...hahaha...I might be bringing home another relative I didn't expect...8 foot tall and 400 pounds...but hey, we don't choose our relations!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

RED ROAD TO HEALING JOURNEY: Day 2

Day 2 (August 2, 2016):


Every person who heals, helps heal all those who came before them and helps heal all those after them!

This was another full day.  We had our great morning breakfast and started the day with Shirley on our Grief and Loss sessions.  We met her today and she is Tim’s mother.  Tim is Tracey’s husband and they own the Painted Warriors Ranch and Archery.  They have collaborated with Shirley on this Intergenerational Trauma and Residential School Healing Program.

Book we are Reading
It was a tough morning with sharing and beginning our personal work.  We received our plan and expectations etc..  I wanted to start off into this program 100% as I feel I will get out of this program what I put into it…I’m really tired of carrying this crap and some of it isn’t mine but what I inherited. 

Even though I know this will be hard work, I’m grateful to let it go…I am so ready.  No matter how much a person heals, there is usually another layer waiting to be discovered and released…this is that time again because in the last three years I have not only seen my family dynamics and result of Indian Residential School Genocide over the years on my healing journey but also saw and was fully immersed in it at a nation/community level and at this level it’s so intense at times because it’s at such a destructive & heavy hearted level.  Meaning we see the result of genocide from looking at the high levels of social issues like high addictions, abuses, crime, lateral violence, suicides, poverty, neglected youth, elders, and children etc…

None of us are immune to it…we are all interconnected and it affects us all…WHY?  Because we are all related!

Just coming here, I had to place my family in Creator’s hands…because when I leave here, I pray my family will and is surviving…I say surviving because at this point they are no long living, they are surviving, which is sad and heartbreaking.

Healing Salves: Comfrey Oil & Infused Sage and Rosemary Oil
This is why I am giving 100% to this program, I don’t want to carry this anymore, I want my children (my son and daughter-law) and my grandchildren to find some sort of healing too…so they can start living and my grandbabies can live a life they deserve…a life with more love than pain, with more kindness than anger, more joy, laughter, freedom, and peace…than all the generations before them.






Bees Wax for Deodorant & Salves
Filling the deodorant Containers
Comfrey Compress for First Aid Wounds
Crushing Comfrey Leaf

Finished products: Deodorant & Healing Salves
As the day continued and our Grief and Loss session was over we learned how to make natural deodorants, pain salves, and healing compress with plants readily available and for pennies to make with basic tools and supplies.  All I know is I am sold…love returning back to our original teachings of accessing our healing medicines, foods, personal hygiene products off the land…

  • Comfrey Compress: Crushed Comfrey Leaf to freeze and ready to heal wounds, bruises etc...speeds recovery.

Comfrey Leaves
  • Yarrow & Popular Salve with Bees Wax Salve: Helps with pain relief, some arthritis, bruising etc..
    • Sage & Rosemary with Bees Wax and Cocoa Butter Deodorant: Excellent underarm deodorant.  One thing we learned is that any products to be placed on your body should be eatable and if it's not, then usually not safe for the body as we absorb it through our skin and no different than eating it...we are what we eat, well..we are what we put on our bodies...
      • You can also add Essential Oils into your deodorants depending on gender like Geranium, Clary Sage, & Ylang Ylang for Women and Juniper, Black Spruce, & Cedar Wood for Men.  These Essential Oils help balance the person & compliment their genetic makeup.


    We ended the day with Yoga and chatting with each other after…the rain slowed our day a little. We didn’t get to spend time with the horses but that is another day…


    Grateful for today and blessed to have met these amazing souls…journey on!

    RED ROAD TO HEALING JOURNEY: 30 Day Personal Journey Grounded on the Land

    DAY 1 (Monday, August 1, 2016):

    Today was a memorable day of mixed feelings and awareness.  Today was the first day back on the lands, sleeping in canvas tents again like my childhood when mama would make the tents to keep us sheltered.  I am on Day one of a thirty day healing journey.  

    The morning was being silly and having some fun...Sasquatch made an appearance hahaha...

    video


    It’s called the Red Road to Healing and our journey is to look and resolve, come to terms with, and release the crippling effects of Indian Residential School indoctrination which has created a life of it’s own and continues to be unconsciously enforced through the generations of our people.  Just like parenting skills and teachings are passed through the generations…as Indigenous Peoples, these sacred teachings of our peoples have been replaced by our oppressors and the genocide continues…we are a fractured people!

    This is Day one of decolonizing my mind, heart, soul, and body…and recolonize back to our origin, as strong, proud self sustaining sovereign Indigenous Peoples of our lands…

    Today was getting familiar with everyone, the lands, the animals and getting used to being and sharing these spaces for the next thirty days…

    We did a little relaxation, learned to make some healthier meals over a camp fire with healthier living foods (greens etc) and wild meat.  We can Salad, Antelope Skewers, & Wild Rice.

    Then we moved onto our next agenda, the Land – it continued to be our classroom and we walked the land and learned of foods and medicines our people have known for thousands and thousands of years like wild spinach, wild chia which is also flour, White Popular has a sweet sap for our sugar and for those who know the Creation Stories it helps with bone or wound repair, the White Popular was the tree Creator used to make our bones.  It’s white powder is also used to protect our skin too.  There are so many foods we can eat that non Indigenous society calls “weeds” but there are no weeds on our lands, there is only food and medicine…many medicines Western Society can not cure illnesses but ours can, including prevent illnesses & keep us healthy. 

    Comfry
    As my dear friend and brother, Dr. James Makokis and others like Elder Jim O’Chiese and others speak and teach about…it is no wonder our people can not be healed from the Western medicines, our medicines are made to heal the bodies of the people who come from these lands on Turtle Island…it is common sense!  Hahaha

    Later we connected with the horse spirits and met our friends, allies etc.. for the next thirty days… my partner’s name is Maverick, he is about 12 years old and a beautiful gentle spirited horse but I can see some challenging spunk in him, he was testing me today (hahaha) but we soon became friends.  I look forward to getting on him tomorrow and riding like I did when I was a teen…I so miss horses.  They always remind me of my dad and brother, the days of rodeos, my grandparent’s family farm, and all the good times.


    Today, I’m so grateful for this opportunity to commit and invest in Shannon and my healing.  I was in a very toxic environment created by the oppressors…an environment our people are unconsciously enforcing… that corrupt Indian Act system…but today, I am on a different journey and reconnecting to the laws of our people… on the land, taking in the water, breathing the air, and absorbing the sun…these are the real laws and the laws of treaty too…the ‘True Spirit and Intent” of Creation!

    PS: These are my raw journals & as real as they will get in the moment I am feeling or experiencing them…they are mine, no one else’s, my perceptions, my journey; therefore, free of other’s opinions, unless you are in my head, heart, body, & soul!  Humbled respect!


    Kinanâskomtinanawaw
    wâpimahihkan
    (White Wolf)