This is Where it Begins

 

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In 2013 I moved from my small town of Shaunavon, SK, to the unfamiliar city of Regina, SK. As I began taking  education classes I found that time after time I was being reminded that I lived on Treaty 4 land and that I, a lost first year University student, was a Treaty person. I believed what I was told, only because others would state “we are all Treaty people.” I never truly knew what this meant, nor did I look deeper to try and take it upon myself to identify who I am as a Treaty person.

I decided to begin this journey, I needed to first explore who I am within my very own family who originated from Norway. In 2012 my father received an email from his second cousin, Elin who stated that she lived in Norway. Elin’s mother was my Grandpa’s first cousin. Before this moment, my family and I had no idea that we had any contacts in Norway, so this was the biggest shock. I found that I got the most clarity and found many answers when I looked into my Great Grandfather. He grew up on a small farm located in a valley called “Lower Sonen,” the place I got my last name from! My great grandfather came here in 1912 and settled in Scotsguard Saskatchewan, which is just down the highway from where I grew up. When my great grandfather came to Saskatchewan he set the foundation for entire my family, who all reside in Shaunavon, Sk. A place that is near and dear to my heart.

After receiving this news about long lost family, my relatives from Norway decided to make the long journey to Canada. They were determined to visit Scotsgaurd and learn more about their family. They stayed for a few weeks and I learned more about who I was than ever before. My father and his siblings then decided that the next year we would visit Norway. In 2014 I embarked on a life changing trip with my wonderful family. We dug deep into our roots and explored many places where my ancestors had once lived. Norway is so beautiful and I will cherish the memories and the impact it had on me I forever.

2014 was the year that I discovered who I am as a Norwegian person. I want to make 2017 the year that I discover who I am as a Treaty person. I know that I am going to have to push myself and discuss topics that might be out of my comfort zone, but I am up for the challenge.

How am I going to get there?

  • I am going to engage in readings
  • I am going to attend seminars to further my knowledge
  • I am going to learn from those around me
  • I am going to think of my future students and how they can benefit
  • I am going to ask questions
  • I am going to get comfortable with being uncomfortable

I am excited to grow and find myself as a Treaty person!

 

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One thought on “This is Where it Begins

  1. debothjenna says:

    Shania,
    I loved how you uprooted your “settler” past to help you as a starting place for understanding what it means to be a treaty person. I can tell you have a passion for teaching others and doing so in a culturally responsive way. Part of my treaty walk is to look for opportunities in others posts and conversations. You have inspired me to think about my colonial roots in order to help myself understand what it means to be a treaty person. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

    Like

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