19 Jul

Aanii! My name is Kelsey, I use she/her pronouns and I am Anishinaabe and Dutch from Saugeen First Nation. I love learning from the land and establishing new connections with the world around us so I am excited to be able to do so by joining the TRACKS team!

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta where I was disconnected from my culture and language for most of my life. However, I had the privilege to travel with my family every year to Ontario to visit my family and my community of Saugeen. During my time out on the land, the water, and connecting with my community and family, I began rooting a relationship with Mother Earth that I did not know I was missing before. I slowly began learning more about myself and our role as humans in protecting Mother Earth and her bloodline. It is these connections that lead me to move to Nogojiwanong to pursue a degree in Indigenous Environmental Science at Trent! I was also influenced by my desire to learn my language of Nishnaabemowin and be closer to my community!

One reality that has stood out to me since I was young is the clean drinking water crisis in Indigenous communities. It is one of many injustices that demonstrate the institutionalized issues in so-called Canada that target Indigenous peoples. This crisis has been the main driver for many things I do, as I strive to raise awareness for this issue, fight for justice, and work towards a future where we should not have to fight for access to basic necessities like water. It has taught me so much about the different relationships we have with the land and water and how we should care for them.

On my learning journey thus far, I have also found that our youth play a vital role in ensuring there is life for the future generations to come. Youth have a unique perspective and experience in this world and we must listen to them; we have as much to learn from them as they do from us. It is our responsibility to pass down what we know to the younger generations so that they can intertwine their new knowledges with existing knowledges to join us in working towards harmony and sustainability. I was excited to learn that TRACKS works with youth to weave different knowledge systems together while providing awesome land-based education! I am beyond excited and grateful to begin as a summer instructor here at TRACKS!