Letter to Our Grandmothers

MNBC is celebrating all women within the Métis Nation. We acknowledge that while October Women’s History month is important, we are committed to celebrating women and supporting women every day of the year. 
Monique Courcelles, Ministry of Women and Gender Equity and Métis woman has shared her writing to honour Métis grandmothers, mothers, aunties, sisters, daughters, and herself.

I see you and honour you as: 

Women raised by biological family;
Women raised by chosen family;
Women who helped raise each other; 
Women who raised themselves; 
Women who are currently raising each other and themselves; 
Women who have yet to be born; 
Women who are in the making; 
Women who are transitioning to the spirit world; 
Women who have gone before us; 
Women who were raised in our culture;
And those who are returning home. 
This Indigenous feminine existence hasn’t been an easy one. My soul is tired and weary of stitching together tattered pieces of our lives and all things sentient left in the wake of the colonial thirst to assimilate and decimate. I am tired of fighting for the land and her resources, for my culture, for my body and for my spirit.  
We have been tasked with tending to the wounds of the world as she weeps, while simultaneously tending to wounds of our own and of those from the generations who have gone before us, their memory leaving marks on our bones and grief in our hearts. Yet, we rise through the pain and sorrow that yearns for something better. For that fierceness, anger and yearning in our heart calls out for wahkohtowin – a connectedness and kinship to each other and all things sentient. A return to the way of our ancestors, to care for others and be cared for in return. 
Métis Elder Maria Campbell shares her wisdom in “honoring and respecting those relationships. They are our stories, songs, ceremonies, and dances that taught us from birth to death our responsibilities and reciprocal obligations to each other. Human to human, human to plants, human to animals, to the water and especially to the earth. And in turn all of creation had responsibilities and reciprocal obligations to us.”1

You are sacred, you are loved, you are worthy in all of your imperfection.  
Many thanks to the women who helped bring this letter to life by sharing their wisdom and their knowledge.  
For inquiries, contact Ministry of Women and Gender Equity mowge@mnbc.ca   
Or Ministry of Youth bbertrand@mnbc.ca