🧡When I first came to Canada (Lethbridge) I was excited to get to know the Indigenous community here, to my surprise I started seeing the majority of them intoxicated in the downtown park.
When I started asking around I would only hear negative comments, and soon found out that they live or are supposed to live in a Reserve out of town, so I naturally said “I want to go!” people answered... “There is nothing to really see there…”
When I started @popupyogalethbridge Spring Equinox I wanted to connect and donate the proceeds to an Indigenous community, I found Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society, they welcomed me in, we talked about the similarities on Mexican indigenous practices and theirs, they shared a bit on how the reserves work, and the stigma against Indigenous peoples.
I told them my idea of donating the proceeds, (pretty naive of me I would say now) they, of course, say yes but they said it would be more beneficial if I donated my time to provide Yoga classes to their kids. I have taught kids before, easy!
To my surprise it wasn't easy, most of the kids took a lot of time to warm up to me, some sat by the wall without wanting to participate, some just looked, no play. I only recall two girls that were actively showing me their gymnastic and yoga tricks.
I probably only taught 3 classes there, they were the hardest kids classes I ever taught, I didn't understand why these kids didn't just play with me, I came to understand their reality much later.
In the past 2 years, I came to know the real pain and trauma that the Indigenous peoples of this land have experienced and keep experiencing (as it happens in Mexico and around the world), but I can say I have never witnessed so much 🧡RESILIENCE 🧡 STRENGTH 🧡PASSION and DETERMINATION FOR HEALING 🧡 than from my native friends, I have learned so much from them and I am privileged for it.
As a settler in this beautiful land, I hold myself accountable to keep learning and stand behind them.
I would like to honor & acknowledge that I am a settler on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.