Starting My Day
I begin my day by waking up. My first prayer of the day is that my scheduled PSW shows up, which is unusual, most days I am left in bed until I can find someone to help me out. Today, she shows up.
Walking My Dog
Now that I am out of bed, and on my wheelchair and ready to go, I have to take my baby out. My baby’s name is Juba and he walks on four legs. So, I put my baby in his bag and took him to the park for about 45 mins. We head back home where I am going to leave Juba in a climatized environment as I’ll be gone for most of the day. I wish there was a way to access the thermostat in case it warms up or cools down during the day while Juba is at home. It would also be great to have a camera to watch him and maybe access to a community dog walker.
Person on the wheelchair carrying a dog in a shoulder bag
Dog running in the park
Getting to Work
Back out ago hoping wheel trans will be on time to get me to work. GREAT! Wheel trans is here and I’m off to work. Sometimes wheel trans doesn’t even show up, or it can be up to one hour late, which means I get to work late, and I’ll be late for everything else during that day. It’s a good thing that my work can make accommodation for your tardiness. If the Wheeltrans doesn’t show up I should call the cap, which is very expensive, and it can add to a defect for my budget at the end of the month. Everything in Toronto is very expensive.
At Work - Morning
Today at work, my morning is about giving a workshop on cultural competency, colonization and history of Canada, all the way to treat and reconciliation and working with indigenous individuals and how this history ties into the trauma of today. Most of the individuals in the workshop this morning are police and security. Many of these individuals live in that new smart city, so it’s good for them to hear what the true history of this country is and the genocide that was enacted by the government that still is in power today. When Christopher Columbus got lost, and we as indigenous people found him, life changed for ever for us. Pre Columbus, indigenous people had an amazing simple life, living by the instructions given by the creator to live in harmony with all of our relatives including those that grow on earth, walk on four legs, fly, crawl and swim. How people survived the cultural genocide with our languages and traditions still intact speaks to our resilience. How important it is for those who live in that smart city to understand how to interact and work with indigenous people and this should include all cultures and helping to understand newcomers as well.
Slide presentation about history of peace disruption
At Work - Afternoon
After I have done that for the morning, I had my lunch and I’m going to go to the afternoon where I work with the individuals. My work with individuals is around self-determination and how to survive in today’s world, helping them to understand the social norms and orientation to the rules. Many of the people I work with are women fleeing the violence by their significant partner or family members of the missing and murdered indigenous women. For my clients’ survival it is absolutely important to know about social norms and surviving in today’s world of the dominant culture i.e. relationship to white privilege.
What a busy day I have had! and now I have to go to the park and rejuvenate myself. I have brought my medicine that I am going to burn and my hand drum to recreate the heartbeat of mother earth. So, I can connect with my ancestors and not take home the emotions of fear after a hard day of work. You don’t have to take home the other people’s trauma. Today is one of those good days when no one in the park complains to me about my behavior. Some days people in the neighborhood ask me to leave the park because they say that it is loud, and they can’t stand the smell of my medicine burning and, on some days, they literally attack my (physically)—White privilege.
Hand drumming in the park
Smudging in the park
Video showing my path home. The sky is getting cloudy and dark and it seems that it's about to start raining.
End of My Day
Now it’s time to go home and wouldn’t you know it starts to rain. I hated it when it rains when I go home because I leave south of Gardiner and it’s well known that during a rainstorm it floods under the Gardiner, creating headaches for those one of us trying to get home. Because of Toronto’s lack of infrastructure, the swear floods and the water seeps up to the street and in some case creates power outages and increase pollution in water. When the swear overflows seeps up to the sidewalks and overflows over the manholes and flooding the union station and cars are stuck there. I’m worried about my dog drinking this water and being affected by it. I’m also worried about power outage and if I can get to my unit.
Luckily, I get home and the power is on. So, I take the elevator to my condo and take Jubo for a walk.