Tuesday, 28 April 2015

It is a soft morning...

It is a soft morning and I walked to work - it really only takes me about 14 minutes unless I stop to take photos. I brought my camera today but didn't take one. If I don't take it I might see Snow Buntings or a bear (as if I'd take a photo of it if I were on my own).

Today I will be talking to my group of parents about the roots of family violence in First Nations and Inuit communities. Family violence, alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, physical and mental disease, high suicide counts, self-harm,  - all of these are symptoms of a much bigger problem - that of trauma. The communities I am working with have been traumatized by colonization. It is a deep spiral downward and it starts with a group of people who, in all probability, were also oppressed. The Innu and Inuit of Labrador were told in no uncertain terms that they were not worthy - their spirituality was ridiculed, their language and way of life taken away. This was reinforced by the residential school program across Canada and now it continues with the constant apprehension of children by social service agencies. Generations of families have been wounded in such a way that the only legacy being passed down is that of no-hope disease and all its attendants.

And I will sit with them and we'll talk about this and what is to be done. No-hope disease is highly contagious but despite feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the force of it I have not succumbed.  The families I meet are cheerful, matter of fact and intent on healing and repairing themselves, their families and their community. I'm in awe of them.


  1. Beautiful 'photo, Jan! And I'm glad you had a soft walk as you prepared for that conversation. I think one important way to heal the wounds and illness in a society is to talk about them. To admit that they're there and try to work out why they're there. That's how you can move to what we might do about it. I don't have the answers myself, but the very people most affected by them would certainly have some insights. You're doing important work I think.

  2. Lovely, lovely photo, I put you on my feed so that when you do update I will know :). I, too, suffer from a fat winter as I was limited due to fall on ice and resulting fear of walking on anything not clear paving or grass :(

    Your work will live on. Good for you and what you do.

    (I've known Innuit people and their lived experience moves me to tears.)