Oji-Cree and Pueblo
I wrote this piece following a critical reflection period in my life. I felt a lot of lateral violence from my community, and violence from settler society as I began to undo years of conditioning and colonization. It was a time in my life where I wasn’t sure how I fit into the big picture. I felt unhinged and muddy, as if I was floating between the physical world and the ancestral one. It is difficult to be a young Indigenous womyn who comes from a bordered peoples. I never knew my father's side of the family, and as I began to understand the Indigeneity of my people in Mexico it left me feeling displaced. This piece explores the ways in which I physically and emotionally tried putting the puzzle of my family history back together. I weave through memory, both ancestral memory and my own stories of childhood and family, along with dream spaces, spirit guides, tricksters, oral traditions, language, and poetry to release. Indigenous theatre is an embodied form of shapeshifting through language and movement, and in creating a dream state where my characters are unhinged from borders of anthropological understandings of Indigenous peoples as well as the limitations of environment, I am then free to heal my (re)searching as well. The characters name is my middle name, which was my maternal grandmother's name. My Grandmother struggled with intergenerational trauma throughout her life before she moved away and began isolating herself. Feeling grounded in my identity was difficult, for so much of my family history was shown through addiction and grief. The only times I saw ceremonies were during funerals. As I grew older I began to understand. Decolonization is not meant to be a comfortable journey. It can be isolating, exhausting and even sometimes frightening. In this piece, I am reminding my Grandmother of our similarities though we survive in this world in different ways. In our raven hair. In our inquiries and mysteries. Our hips side my side while we sort decade old boxes of memory after a death. In our brown hands. I am all of that as she is all of me.