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My tribe is about to celebrate – raising a totem

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Xaada ‘láa isis (Haida for good people) We all belong to a tribe. An ancient gathering that transcends time. As old as we are a people, we have always been tribes. There are traditional tribes from the remote villages all around the world to ones that are around us. They have a basic structure and know what it means to support each other in a community to make it thrive and survive. Whether you look far to villages around the world or the First Nations that are woven into our local community, there is a strong sense of sharing, togetherness and family. One of the fundamental words used is respect…respect for elders and one and other.

You also belong to a tribe. These would be our own associations and interactions with our social identity like our work, social gatherings and family. The tribe I belong to is huge. It is made up of the people I have associated with over my lifetime. We don’t belong to just one tribe, there are multiple tribes that we engage with; however, if you take yourself as the centre, you are a village and all the people you know make up your village.

One of my tribes is made up of a wonderful collection of individuals who have supported me and helped me to create the stories for my book. The book could not be arranged and put together by me alone. I needed a village to help me discover the stories and enabled me to live the adventures. The tribe has come together to now help pull the book and book launch together. I never felt alone in my quest, I had everyone with me. That is what a tribe does. It supports you and envelopes you. Two years ago, my words became stories, stories were arranged in a format and formed into a book and just like a tree pole, a totem emerged. The journey was a long one but I had my tribe with me. My tribe encouraged me to write, share and tell my stories. Slowly, I was able to arrange the concepts of storytelling and stories together. The tribe around me wanted to make sure that this would go to fruition and completion. With their tremendous support, I am making my way to completion. My tribe taught me to have a voice.

Who makes up your tribe? Who are the people you know who are there to support you? Who are the individuals that you are not aware who make up the support to enable you to strive? Look around, you have a tribe around you. It may not be the traditional version of a tribe but if you think about it, the structure is still the same. We support and care for each other.

It is time to beat a drum to announce the news, my tribe is coming together soon to celebrate a victory at the upcoming book launch (and we are putting together a great show). The journey is nearing an end and we will take time to appreciate what has been accomplished. Yes, it is the closing of a chapter for my book and it would not have been possible without my tribe. As in any village, we take time to celebrate and a wonderful celebration is approaching. Thank you for being a part of my tribe and letting me a part of yours. See you at the upcoming book launch. Háw’aa (thank you in Haida) – as I raise my hands up to you.


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