A few months ago I was asked what my favourite memory of early summer is. I couldn’t think of just one because that time of year has always been my favourite. Instead I shared that when I was a kid, as soon as it was getting hot out, me and my sister would be exploring trails to find the strawberries and see if they were ready. We always found lots of tsáqwem (Saskatoon berry) too and went on adventures with our friends.
I look back on these memories because I’m trying to process everything that is going on right now with the destruction of our lands, and the MMIWG+ Final Report. I’m trying to figure out how to celebrate who I am, and where I’m from, while I’m far from home and it isn’t easy to get there, and sometimes I worry the berries won’t come back. But I try to always remind myself of what I have to celebrate: I got to have those berries, and adventures. I have a beautiful loving family, and amazing friends. I am here, and I have the opportunity to share with people the struggles and tell them about the resilience and beauty I have seen.
Now as I get ready to move back home I get more and more excited. I keep seeing all these wonderful events happening that are open to the community. I keep feeling more and more like we can heal, and I believe that the more we all heal the more of a chance there is for the berries.
The last time I was home I went to visit one of my favourite places, a creek where me and my sister and friends went to play all the time from when we were little kids. The creek was so different than I remembered. I don’t know what happened but instead of a creek, it’s mostly rocks, and it doesn’t flow as strongly as it once did. But while I was there I found this one little berry, and I ate it! It was strange to find such a fresh berry that time in September. I guess that little creek was strong enough to help the little berry survive so that I could find it. I could find strength from it. I showed this picture to my mom later that day and she said “let’s go find it and eat it!” Sorry mom I already did. Guess who I got my love for berries from?