Reflections by W̱SÁNEĆ – Lummi Nation Member
Breaking colonial boundaries and creating space to be back out on our traditional homelands is an approach to foster healing and reconciliation into existence; through this we can also reconnect with our relatives who reside across those border boundaries, as well as reconnecting and becoming familiar with the land that our ancestors often resided on and held knowledge of. Recently I had the opportunity to go to W̱ȾȺ,EMEṈ with the W̱SÁNEĆ Secondary School, Living Lab, White Swan Environmental, as well as Western Washington University. By bringing our W̱SÁNEĆ and Lummi communities together we were able to share songs, stories, and language, all of which are a direct connection to our ĆELAṈEN — our past, our identities, and our ancestors.
These aspects alone play a vital role within the healing and mending of these connections that we hold as First Nations. Through this experience I was able to create many connections not only with our SĆÁLEĆE, but also with the land and my history as a W̱SÁNEĆ woman, and continuing to create opportunities such as this for the youth and future generations is a testimony to our resilience which can dismantle the barriers that were placed upon us by colonialism. W̱ȾȺ,EMEṈ will not only hold a place in my heart, but also the youth who will be the future generations to keep carrying on our traditions of getting out to our ṮEṮÁĆES.”
By: Desiree Jones, W̱SÁNEĆ and Lummi Nation. W̱SÁNEĆ School Board Senior Language Apprentice and Living Lab – WSB staff liaison