I’m trying to ensure that I keep doing blog updates. I’m going to try to ensure that I give daily updates.
That’s one problem with my depression. My interest in things comes and goes super quick.
I really wished that I had developed hobbies as a kid, or had gotten into the habit of taking interests in things I like.
I’m in the process of buying rain gear for my bicycle so that I can ride more comfortably in the rain. As I’ve said, I don’t find the rain as fun to ride in now as I once did when I was in my teens and twenties.
It’s National Truth and Reconciliation day and I have absolutely no idea of what to do. Do I attend the marches? Should I attend the protests? I’m at a complete loss of what to do.
Yes, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed that my grandmother attended Indian Residential Schools as a child.
The fact that my grandmother was Swampy Cree meant that she would have suffered the anti-Indian sentiment and racism that was extremely prevalent back in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s. Add to that her attendance at the Indian Residential School program and it’s easy to see why she couldn’t parent Richard properly.
I know that she had a problem with alcohol when she was pregnant with Richard. Sure, fine, people didn’t fully understand the effects of alcohol back then. But she was only 23 when she had Richard. She was much younger when she had my uncle Norman. What would drive someone to drink like she did?
We know the answer to that now.
My father never once embraced the fact that he was half Cree and half Irish. Being a “half-breed” no doubt would have caused him all sorts of problems in the 1940s and 1950s.
When I moved back to Alberta in 1990 I met up with my uncle Doug. He asked me if I had my metis papers. I asked him what those are. He said that Richard had done a good job of keeping both my brother and I isolated from the Indian side of our family. Doug had asked me if I wanted to get my metis papers. Sure I said. But it never went any further. Richard really wasn’t on speaking terms with Doug and Doug had told me not to mention my intentions to get my metis papers to Richard as this would no doubt upset Richard. My paperwork never went any further after Doug moved out of the city and went up north.
How much of the dysfunction that my family went through was due to this “intergenerational trauma” that everyone speaks of?
As a white person, do I have any claim to this “intergenerational trauma” which ran rampant on the paternal side of my family or am I supposed to apologize for the actions of my maternal French and Scottish forefathers?
I realize that being white I’ve enjoyed privileges that my uncle Norman’s kids probably didn’t have. However, at the same time my family tree was laid to waste by the treatment of the First Nations in this country.
When I was younger, I would often ask my father what I was if Grandma was an Indian. He’d say that I was nothing more than a mutt. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that, but not enough of anything to be special.
I forget what year this happened, but it was when Andy Anderson was still alive. Andy was my grandmother’s husband at the time. He was my father’s step father. Anyways, Andy was in the nursing home at the Mewburn nursing home at the Univeristy of Alberta Hospital. This is after my grandmother had moved out of our house on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach. She lived in an apartment on 111th Street and 107th Ave. Richard would frequently drop us off for the weekend to stay with grandma. One day we were taking the bus down to see Andy. The bus driver mis-calculated and stopped the bus with a garbage can blocking the rear doors. Without missing a beat grandma yelled up at the driver “Driver! Do you think because I’m an Indian I’m going to jump in the fucking garbage can for you?”. Yes, grandma could swear. Just as Richard could.
The next time that anything related to her Indian status came up was in the summer of 1985 when we had been sent up from Toronto to spend the summer with grandma. I noticed that she could write letters using both hands. I asked her how she learnt how to do that and if she could teach me. All she said is that she’d have to beat my hands with a stick like the nuns had beat her hands. She was left-handed. Being left-handed was actually something that the Catholic Church had an actual hang-up on.
Maybe eventually one day I’ll have this all figured out.
Until then it’s all as confusing as hell.