Thanks for speaking with me today Matricia! I thought we should start from the beginning. Can you tell me how you found your way back to indigenous roots, after being disconnected from it at a young age?
I was adopted when I was five. It was an open adoption so I knew I was indigenous, and that I was being adopted into an English family. For the most part, my family did keep that thread available to me and that conversation going that I was indigenous. Growing up, it was pretty idyllic childhood; normal, Canadian, multicultural, regular public school. It wasn't until I think it was really in my 20s that it started to affect me more. I think that the more colonised I became the more unhappy I became. I was trying to figure out what exactly that what it was that I was trying to numb in myself.
Then I got married and had children, and when I saw their little brown faces looking back at me, I saw a lot of myself in them. And I was wondering how I could raise them within their cultures in a way that they would feel proud about who they were, as opposed to conflicted like I was.
I started exploring all the beautiful parts of my culture and because I had graduated from university with a voice diploma, I went down that avenue. I built a drum and started drumming and singing with several different women that took me under their wing and mentored and shared songs with me. We created this community. And then I started practising more ceremony and reconnecting with my language. I think the more that I learned about that, the more connected I became and the more I realised that my culture that I kept at bay, was actually what I needed to heal. So it took a while to step in to who I am today, but I'm really glad I made the journey.