How are you showing up? A thought prompt from Sutikem Bikadi

To honour National Indigenous History month, PORCA shared a three-part series interviewing three different women from the Lil’wat Nation who organized or participated in the recent Intro to Mountain Biking course put on by Indigenous Women Outdoors (IWO) in collaboration with PORCA.

(Follow PORCA on Facebook for this kind of awesomeness. We’re reposting this post, to specifically amplify these words shared by Sutikem. Also, PORCA is running a Silent Auction and Annual Fundraiser, until July 11 at 8pm. You can donate directly to their initiatives, or bid on various prizes at The bike skills park, youth development program, and Indigenous program partnerships are projects that started in 2021. Your direct donation to one of these projects help support the continuation of these programs in addition to our yearly trail projects and events.)

via PORCA:

“Biking is definitely a big form of freedom, which is probably a very common feeling amongst us all.

Biking and other sports have always been an escape for me. It’s one of the only places my brain slows down – where I don’t have to think about anything. Sometimes I don’t even know what trick I did after I did it because I am not thinking and that’s the best feeling.

Biking and all these other sports that I participate in is one of my biggest forms of self-love. It takes effort to get yourself out there to do the sports, but doing them makes me feel loved by me.

From where I stand it’s very obvious to me as a First Nations person that there is a major divide between Lil’wat Nation people and the Pemberton community.

I’ve always had a hard time with groups of women and that has definitely kept me away from PORCA’s Bike Club.

I’ve recently taken a big step and joined IWO Bike Clinic and it was such a beautiful experience.

I think accessibility has a lot to do with money. My parents always made sure that I understood that all the sports that they raised me in are considered “rich man sports” – everything about it costs money that not everyone has.

Something that I want to make known about the inclusivity in these types of groups is that it’s not always inclusive. When I say that I mean that sometimes when White people want to have a conversation with a First Nations person a lot of the time it really seems like they don’t want to have the hard conversation that we need to have; they just want to convince both you and themselves that they themselves are not racist and that is hard.

There’s a problem with the White Knight mentality of “I am a white person, and I’m going to save all the Natives.” There is a belittling feeling that I sometimes get when it comes to being “supported“ – the squeaky voice, the pat on the head. Encouragement is very triggering to both me and other First Nation people, and I feel like that’s not always understood by the Pemberton community. Things like this have prevented me from joining groups organized by White folk.

I think it’s important for someone who is just starting out to understand that not everyone gets the same opportunities growing up and we’re not all good at the same thing first try.

It’s also important not to compare your day one to someone’s day 100.

Something I really enjoyed about my experience with the IWO bike clinic was that I wasn’t the best one.

I had females around me who are better than I am at biking and that opened my eyes to how much room I have to grow.

It definitely gave me a greater perspective that I’m really excited about.”

Sutikem Bikadi/ Lil’wat Nation

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