Annáatsiksi? Where is she (at this point in her life)?
The trading card information on the bottom of the text is taken from a university excercise my Blackfoot teacher Ahstanskiaki [Sandra Manyfingers/ Kainai] had our cohort do last year. It will provide a visual way of learning more about me through the use of peanuts who represent me in different locations in and around my home.
As for the traditional academic way, let me say the following:
I have a background in modern language teaching and educational development.
I currently work for the Rebus Community, a global non-profit working to make knowledge freely available in the pursuit of equity, understanding, and the common good. We empower educators with the know-how and network to publish and adopt open educational resources/practices through an innovative community of open education enthusiasts.
I’m also an herbalist apprentice with a strong desire to foster a lively herbalism community in my locality. I live on the traditional Blackfoot homelands – Siksikaiksaahko, once immensely beautiful grasslands, but now hugely terraformed by the ongoing Canadian colonial project.
Through my close interactions with the local stewards of these lands in the last few years, I have reached a crossroads, where I am wondering what professional paths to take going forward. I consider it my responsibility to use my personal gifts and professional expertise to contribute to individual and collective healing, true transformation and poo’miikapii (Blackfoot for health and wellness), social and environmental justice – without romanticising, fetishizing, or recolonizing. I believe what many Indigenous people express when they say that we [white settlers] need to come back in relationship to the land and honour our responsibility to the places we inhabit and the people we meet.
Niinohkanistssksinipi, I know from experience how uncomfortable it feels to move out of delusion and face reality for what it is, but I think we [white settlers] can shift from apocalyptic panic mode to a more peaceful stretching of our minds to see a future of land-based protection, co-liberation and visionary storytelling for change and care.