I’m a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community from the Verified Métis family lines of Solomon and Berger/Beaudoin. It’s an honour to have the position in my family as the story keeper. Georgian Bay and my family are a main source of inspiration. I love to write about life by the water, the history that was hidden for so many years, and the ways of our grandparents. I’ve been blessed to meet so many cousins through this blog.
Every summer I spend hours in the boat taking photographs of the landscape I love so much. It still amazes me how every day is different out on the bay.
In November I was invited to participate in some sharing in our school board for our Indigenous People’s Awareness Month. I decided to begin with my family’s story, showing how they moved and adapted from the fur trade to today. I wanted to post the talk here so my family would be able to easily access it.
The talk was delivered on Google Meet and then posted on the board’s YouTube channel alongside the videos of other guests so classes could go back and access it when needed.
The sash is a symbol of the history of the Métis. I am proud of my heritage and look forward to continuing to learn more.
I wanted to stand next to Gereaux Island Lighthouse, my feet on the rock my ancestors stood upon for so many years. I dreamed to see Georgian Bay from their perspective. What did Grandpa notice here growing up as a child? How can I see through his eyes? How can I learn about living on an island?
This summer everything aligned beautifully. We finally docked our boat and took a self-directed tour of Gereaux Island. For over 60 years my ancestors lived on this land, fed from these waters. My Grandfather grew up living here. Today, my parents live about 1 km away.
Vibrant energy. Time disappeared. The sun, breeze, and waves all sang the same song: welcome home. How can a place hold so much?
The island felt bigger on shore than looking at it from the water. It was hot when I thought it would be cool. My feet ached to memorize each step, each crevice in the granite. My eyes squished to gaze through the walls of the house and tower to imagine life inside. Unfortunately, the building was closed. The Coast Guards told us everything has been stripped inside and it’s unsafe for people to enter.
I took home a piece a granite to remember this visit, to hold onto the energy. We will visit again. This island has more lessons and stories for me to learn.
Here are some pictures from the visit:
June is Indigenous History Month in Canada. To acknowledge and celebrate with my students this year, I created a video to share my family’s story.
I loved the song ‘Autumn Leaves’ from the first time I heard it. I love the energy of the song and the way I feel singing it. I have spent hours with this song, singing this song just for the sheer pleasure like I did as a teenager.
At Thanksgiving this year it rained most of the weekend, but there were occasional short breaks. Dad and I went out on Sunday afternoon to take pictures along the Britt road (otherwise known as Riverside Drive). On Monday, driving home I continued to pull over and take pictures. Since the sky was so grey it made the colours pop.
Even though we knew this project was happening, it caught us by surprise this summer to see the new wind farm at Henvey Inlet First Nation. I’ve spent my summers among these islands my whole life. Our family picnics were in this area. The photo at the top of this post is taken just across the water from the lighthouse where my grandfather lived as a child.
It rained most of the weekend this Thanksgiving but that didn’t stop me from getting outside to take pictures of the leaves between rainfalls. I wish you could see them in full resolution! Here are some of my pics: