Culture and Lineage
I am Sandi Ayahwehwah DivineLightBearer SpiritWombMan AbdalSaami JapdevKaur AtlChuatl Loytomaki. I was physically born in the season of shedding leaves, to an Italian Canadian Mother and Finnish Canadian Father. I was born on Atikamesksheng Anishnawbek Territory, on some of the oldest rock of Mother Earth, where one of the largest meteors impacted Her flesh, infusing the land with universal meteorite intrusions, bringing her fires and elements from deep within to the surface. The land of boreal forest, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, marsh and wetlands, the land of bogs, fens and pocosins, the land of four seasons, the land of rich diversity of life.
I am mixed blood – all colors of two-legged people of the Earth. It is important to understand I am not a direct descendant of a Turtle Island Indigenous Nation. I am humbly grateful to the original people of this land for the possibility to live and serve, here and now. I am second and third generation immigrant – my great grandparents and grandparents following the call of migration.
I honor the Ancient lineage that created the DNA that made my form … paternally of the Sami, originally from western Sapmi (Samiland); through Finnish territory (eastern and western); to Northern Ontario, Canada; maternally of mixed ethnicity (Friuli, North African, North Asian, South Asian, Ashkenazi Jewish, eastern European, Persian, Turkish, western Steppe), of the Friuli, from Friuli Genezia Giulia (Udine) region, to Northern Ontario, Canada.
The color of my skin …
People see me and label me as white. It is simply the color of my skin and does not reveal the diversity of human history I hold within.
As many do … You may see me and ask me “where are you from”. You may tell me I am not one of you. You may tell me I have not lived your experience because all you see is the color of my skin. You may tell me I cannot know because all you see is the color of my skin. You may tell me I could never understand you because all you see is the color of my skin. You may tell me I have caused your pain because all you see is the color of my skin. And…I like you, have a human history.
And … I know who I am. I know where I come from. I know I am mixed blood. I know I am an Indigenous woman through lineage. I know I am the full rainbow of humanity. I am white, I am black, I am yellow, I am brown, I am red, I am all shades and permutations in between – whether or not you see them with the glasses you are looking through, whether or not you can see past the color of your skin or my skin. Whether or not you can see past your individual trauma or our collective trauma. I am your Sister, I am your ally, I am your family. You are my Brother and Sister, you are my ally, you are my family.
You may tell me I do not belong to your group of people, your culture, your race, your ethnicity. You may tell me I do not think like you. You may tell me you have never quite met anyone like me. You may decide you do not know what to do with me. You may not like me because I reflect a possibility for you.
I am two legged. I belong to humanity – the youngest kingdom of the Earth. The two-legged people who … in their youth, ignorance and naivete, often referred to as industrial, technological proficiency, as superiority… systematically kill themselves and other people of the Earth. The two-legged people who systematically destroy the very Earth that provides for their life.
I am two-legged. I belong to ‘the human race’ – the youngest people of the Earth. The people who are still learning to see other two-legged people as the same, with beautiful and inspiring variation. The people who are still learning to listen to all other people they share the Earth with. The people who are still learning to live in balance with all two-legged people and all people they share the Earth with. The people who are still learning they are not ‘above’ nature, they are a part of nature.
I am a two-legged who now stands to claim her place in the web of life – honoring all her people, and all her people’s people – who now stands to rebuild the broken web her people and her people’s people created – who now stands to hold the web of life strong so her people and her people’s people will be able to continue living for many generations with all other people.