NORTHERN WILDFLOWER: Operating outside the comfort zone

You ever feel like you're shuffling around in the dark?

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I am so excited to hear that an astounding amount of women are now representing the NWT for the first time in history. Not only in the Legislative Assembly but in Town Councils and in Indigenous Governments across the North. Women are leading the way now and I can’t wait to see what amazing things they will do to improve Northern living.

I am learning so much over here at school that my head is spinning. I have accepted the fact that for the next four years I am going to have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I often don’t know what I am supposed to be working on, what I’m supposed to be reading, what I’m supposed to be writing and what class I’m supposed to be in. I feel like I’m shuffling around in the dark and every once and after a while someone flicks the light switch on for a second to help me move one step closer to the door.

I am taking criminology, property law, legislative and legal writing classes this term and I can tell you that none of them are what I expected. We are learning about some of the very first groundbreaking cases of law that helped to build the Common Law but we are also learning about how some of these laws compare to Indigenous laws.

We are learning about First Nations who share their knowledge of their governance structures that were – and still are – in place well before Canada was proclaimed. It is amazing to see the strength and resilience of these Nations’ laws come through so superior even through decades of attempted assimilation through colonialism.

Last week I learned the Cree Creation story which I find remarkably insightful.

In summary, it is about how the animals helped a vulnerable human that fell to earth. The animals sacrificed their lives to feed and clothe man. The human was also given the gift of knowledge and the animals were tasked with hiding it somewhere safe, yet somewhere where each human could find it for themselves if they searched hard enough.

The animals counseled together and talked about where to hide this gift of knowledge, in the deepest waters? No. Creator told them it was too easy to find there. On the moon? No. Creator said it was too easy to find there as one day man would travel to the moon. In the earth? No, not there either.

Then a tiny vole suggested it be placed within.

Yes, Creator said, that way humans will have to travel the longest distance to find knowledge – from their heart to their head – and they must look within themselves.

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