Blogging will always be a hobby of mine, not quite a passion but definitely beloved. The implication is that my actual passions will take the stage, and they do. I juggle so many hats that the role strain is felt often and intensely. The easiest hat to put in the garbage, throw some cyanide on and forget about is blogging. That doesn’t make it right to my readers, but it’s where I am at.
I made the promise early this month that I would focus on promoting Indigenous rights and awareness. It is Native Awareness Month after all, this month is my safe haven. It’s my ballsy month where I can write about colonization and not fear offending someone. It’s my prideful month where I rock my mocs, and create beauty. It’s my largest support month where I binge purchase items from Indigenous companies to support them (plus their merchandise is always fucking banging). But this month I did not profit from my platform.
I wanted so badly spread Indigenous Awareness on everything like it was freaking Nutella. I wanted to pull out all these statistics on Native health disparities, such as colonialism being the cause for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women (National Inquiry into the Missing And Murdered Indigenous women, 2018). I wanted to shout that the Violence against women’s act (2013) did not fully protect Native women or solve the issues of violence against us. I wanted to quote that colonization is the root cause of the shift in devaluing Indigenous women but also the creator of acceptability in violence against us (Weaver,2009). But I did not flood my platform with information. I failed.
I want to say I had a great reason, that I was too busy being a water fighter or protesting or anything. But I was just so tired. This year, instead of only targeting my friends or followers I chose to target my classes. I had two massive projects (on top of finals because the universe is cruel) and for both I chose Native issues, in part because I wanted to study them but also to educate non-Natives about our health disparities. My classmates will be professionals in the health field, if they work with even 1 Native I want them to do it from an educated standpoint (you know instead of mentioning being 1/48th Native and comparing their struggles to that of intergenerational oppression). So I created a presentation, with a gender transformative intervention, for violence against indigenous women. For another class I tackled the overwhelming disparities in Indigenous suicide rates, in particular those of our youth. I created an upstream model in education to combat what residential schools have left us with. And it was exhausting.
I got sucked into such a dark place while researching all the many ways colonization completely fucked us. It is one thing to know, but it is a completely other experience to look at it from a scientific perspective. I went down a rabbit hole because I had to find an upstream policy to combat the governmental policies that created the issues to begin with. I cried on the phone to mentors asking if I could do this. It was as if I was feeling the pain of our generations all at once.
So no, I did not blog. I did not post on social media for Indigenous awareness month. It was realistically a morbid time for me. I simply fell into myself. My spirit collapsing as I shifted through one research paper after another, each one calling for more research and providing zero resources for Indigenous people. I wanted to lose it and I was close to it.
Instead of hiding in the shadows, like I absolutely wanted to, I researched until I found appropriate interventions. I may not have lived up to my blogging promises, or done everything I wanted to, but when you’re a First Nations woman every day gets to be for Indigenous Awareness. I will always be prideful in my culture. I will always fight for Indigenous equity. If I get lost in schoolwork, at least it’s in the pursuit of knowledge for my people. If I don’t blog, it’s because some things are far more important to me.
This month was brutal, and there were multiple instances I was blinded by the sheer loss of appropriate interventions. My mental health suffered. My soul banged against the walls of my body begging to be let free so it could find a shadow to hide within. I was snappy with my husband, nitpicking him because I couldn’t be consumed with rage at what colonization cost us. I was simultaneously not who I wanted to be, while also being exactly where I belonged. As for my November loss of blogging, I hope this explains it as best as it can.
I’m still not 100% where I want to be, but knowing my classmates are required to learn about a topic they’d normally dismiss helps me recover. Knowledge is the only way there is hope for change. But spreading that awareness and accepting it, is how we will implement change.
Sorry November sucked for me guys, better luck next month!