I wanted to talk about how I’ve lost my “native tongue” and many things over the time. I never got to speak a lot of it, heard it a lot, but never got to speak and have a full conversation. Me and my siblings all have been around the tongue of our people, the Cree. And we were never taught. We wanted to learn, but my mother refused and said to ask our Grandfather, but because my grandfather went through residential schooling, he learned that his language was evil and to not speak or teach it. He was also reluctant to teach us as well. So, because of all of this, I and my siblings never got to learn and never got to speak the words our people have been speaking for a long time. I know as a social person in life, I am quite towards my people, because they don’t want to move and try to help themselves. They don’t know the power we have and the things that we are capable of. That is why I am made this blog, so I can share my thoughts and feelings, and how I had overcome many obstacles in my life, through childhood almost to adulthood. I know people like to tell me, people heal at different paces, people keep healing until the day they are dead, but we can’t let our wounds control us. I am still yet to find a teacher, so I can learn my language and hope to pass it on to my children (If I am to have any) and my nephews and nieces. I want to help my language heal and flourish once again among my generation and the area I live in. The language that I write in, is the language I was taught and the one I know best. If I was able to write in my language, I would.
We lose a lot of things in our life, either to death or just people walking out of our lives. There are many things that get lost and sometimes are found, but when a language is gone and isn’t shared traditionally, such as being spoken to, in it. Then the language eventually loses its influence over the people it has had over them for many years. Just like we lose a friend, we lose someone who had an influence over us, they made a difference in our life and affected it in someway. Appreciating the language we have is like appreciating someone for the things they’ve done for you, whether it is them teaching you or helping you get better from an injury. Wanting our language to be heard is wanting our voice to heard, we can only truly shout out the hurt in our tongue, because then the world knows we mean what we are saying. There are a great deal of people who speak their language in my area, but many of those people deter themselves from teaching it. The oppression of residential schools has affected my grandparents, my parents, and even my generation. We lost our ability to share, the ability to truly care about our culture, the ability to practice and teach. All of these things can be reacquired if we start talking to each other and hearing the stories of our elders and parents, let our families know we care and start healing at home. Those are the first steps to recovery. Heal our families and then try to heal the people that need healing. Once we are all healed and happy again, we can celebrate by song, story telling, teaching the language and growing ourselves once again.
In my previous writing, I talk about our resilience, we are resilient, but resilience doesn’t mean it will happen in a day. The more people who are involved, the faster and faster our knowledge grows and our culture beings to return to its roots and our people begin to see our purpose. We are the first people, the people that roamed this land for thousands of years and we lived off of everything around us. We were the people that maintained and cared the land and people around us. We knew how to heal our wounds from hunting, we knew how to calm the children from fright with song, we knew how to say “thank you” for the food and water given to us, we knew how to survive, and still today, we know we can survive. We are still here, everyday is a challenge, a challenge to protect our language, our land, ourselves, our future. I know that if we continue to pursue the things that were promised, we will eventually be able to live like the rest of the world, but more harmonious and free.
My grandfather told me that the only thing we have left that belongs to the people is our Language. That is the one thing that the government, death, or anything can take away from us. “They” have the land, the water, the politics, the resources, and media, but they can’t take our language, it belongs to us. Our people created it and shared it and taught it. It’s the one thing that we have to keep with us, so we remember the people who fought for our rights as Indigenous people’s and fought for us to have land and fought for us to hunt and fish; Our language is our history and without, we are gone.