Fire Keepers – Reflections on Indigenous Storywork
We all have primal wounds. For those of us who were raised without a connection to blood, to culture, to language, and to place, that primal wound is one of separation and disconnection. For those of us who are also 2SLGBTQIA+, sometimes the separation cannot be overcome. As a ‘Nishnabeg agokwe (2S person) of mixed ancestry, my heart beats to recognize, support, and encourage the gifts and unique characteristics of each sacred child. What does the Earth teach us about gender? How many non-binary creatures show us how to be both and neither? How many of those elder, wiser teachers are transformers, showing us how to cocoon quietly one day and burst forward in full colour the next? This is a pathway Koomi travels and talks to children about. We walk the path together, identifying the injustices sustained by colonization and actively working to disrupt and interrupt these ongoing oppressions. We create new learning, new songs and new stories for children. We dream that these will provide the children of today what so many of us 60s Scoop Survivors longed for when we were children: connection to the Earth, connection to the languages and cultures of our Indigenous ancestors, and unconditional love and acceptance within our communities today.