Updated: Jun 8, 2022
She:kon Sewakwe:kon!, Hello to Everyone!
Happy Indigenous Month to all across Turtle Island and beyond.
Here we are, in 2022. What a time to be Indigenous.
How to describe this last year, of over two years of a Global Pandemic?
Stressful is one word.
Testament to our Strength is a statement.
That was never truer for Indigenous Peoples everywhere over this past year. Amid a global pandemic, we saw the unearthing of ancestors, something we have always known was there. During those times we were unable to come together in our communities to grieve out of fear from community transmission of the virus. Community, something that is so vital to us across Indigenous cultures was interrupted once again and became potentially deadly to our most vulnerable. Through it all here we still stand, and I want to thank you for being here, in these moments, alongside each other. We have always pushed ahead in the face of adversity, becoming renowned in fields ranging from Medical Sciences, Law, Academia and the Arts.
It is our artists that I want to pay tribute to, here, this month, as across many indigenous cultures, our artists; our makers, our performers, our dancers, and our singers; our storytellers, are the ones who keep stories, tradition and histories alive by conveying and bringing them to life through their talents and gifts. As Indigenous artists, it is rare that we ever work in just Canada. Many of us in our respective mediums are able to work across borders without a second thought. Useful for artists in general and a necessity for Indigenous peoples. When the pandemic closed borders and all of a sudden everything went silent and still, it highlighted to me just how important working across borders for the indigenous sphere of the industry, really is. Yet we persisted, we pivoted and we adapted just the way we always have.
We have much to celebrate and be thankful for this Indigenous History Month. We are the original Storytellers, dancers, makers, and musicians of Turtle Island, and always will be.
Happy Indigenous History Month! Written by Andrew White-Martin - Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan - Events Coordinator Trainee, Reelworld Screen Institute