10/4/2012 1 Comment
As a person who has traveled a 13 year journey gaining an education learning about the history of colonization, ongoing colonization, the treaty and land claims process, Indigenous knowledge, Anishinaabe knowledge, and knowledge about the Algonquin Anishinaabeg, I have taken great strides in assuring that my knowledge is given back to community members. The steps that I have taken include such activities as writing for Anishinabek News, the Ontario Native Woman’s Association newsletter, and Canadian Dimension. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to write through these venues and give back to community peoples: Miigwetch.
In addition to these activities I have taken the time to construct a personal website where these items and many more are available for community members. These items include my Ally Bill of Responsibilities, my open letter to Canada, as well as my black face blogs which address issues of Indigenous knowledge, Algonquin knowledge, and Anishinabek citizenship.
In addition, on my website community members will find a collection of Algonquin readings by authors such as Susan DeLisle, Paula Sherman, Heather Majaury, Gordon Day, Huitema Osborne Ripmeester, and Marcel Trudel. I also offer a collection of reviews on Anishinaabeg books, a list of Anishinabeg books that I recommend; as well as a large listing of Indigenous Knowledge, anti-colonial lectures, post-colonial films, and teachings. To better serve community members these resources are well organized with the necessary hyperlinks for quick and easy access.
Further to this, I am also doing a lot of work protecting mothers and their children who are denied Indian status, their treaty rights, First Nation band membership, and citizenship. For the past two years I have taken on my National Strategy to Raise Awareness on Unknown and Unstated Paternity and the Indian Act (NSRAUUP and the Indian Act) full force. In this project I have gathered, as well as developed, many sources and they can be easily accessed from my website. I have do this work without funding or financial support.
Indeed I have taken the time to place Indigenous people at the core of what I do and at the core of my knowledge dissemination process. Many people have contacted me and have offered kind words about these bodies of work. In offering these kind words they encourage me to continue to do the work I do. Chi-Miigwetch!
Having said this, there is the need for me to kindly ask community members to value my need to survive and make a living. Like everyone else I have rent, vision, dental, and medical bills to pay. I also need to eat and dress myself. While historically Indigenous intellectuals, philosophers, and spiritual leaders would have their housing and subsistence needs met by skilled and valued hunters, gatherers, and cooks, due to colonization this is no longer the case. As such, Indigenous scholars must strike a balance between giving back to community members and protecting their intellectual property. Yes, in the contemporary world, and model that we live through, even Indigenous scholars have intellectual property rights. I cannot afford to be naive about this reality. I have too many people who rely on the community work that I do. Please respect my need to care for me, and through this, the needs of others.
I pray that these words are interpreted through kindness.
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