Do you ever find yourself wondering, “how did I get here?”
That’s what happened to me this morning when I woke up in Thompson and got ready to head to Shamattawa. I am traveling with an amazing group of Aboriginal youth mentors from various communities including Waboden, Sagkeeng & Garden Hill. As we embark upon our journey to invite Shamattawa students into our circle, I believe that a good teacher, a good peer mentor can save lives.
As I recall my own experiences growing up ,I remember how many negative influences we had to deal with within my circle of peers. Some of those had to do with poverty, the feeling of not having enough money often left me feeling like I wasn’t worth anything, like I wasn’t enough. I do remember feeling hopeless; but most importantly I remember how I felt when a teacher I respected told me that I mattered , and that I was doing a good job. That small gesture made me feel like I was worthy, I was enough.
Today, I carry a megaphone around, as a symbol to those I connect with, a reminder of what my job is now. It could be a simple as a compliment , a book or an observation , but when we take the positive we see and talk to others about it, we amplify the goodness. And it is in those memories that I realized that that is exactly how I got here: I was invited into a family of choice , I was told that I mattered and I began to recognize the good within my circle of peers. It’s not easy at first but it is so rewarding once we train ourselves to find the silver lining. I can’t wait to share my story of returning to shamattawa with all of you.
Let’s keep healing & growing together.