Where do I come from?

Mickenna Ryll

What makes us unique? There are many different aspects that make up how a person acts, looks, and behaves. It is important for people to know where they come from and how their cultural background influences who they are. Growing up, I was extremely blessed to have caring adults like my late grandfather who took every opportunity to immerse me in my First Nations culture. My family has told me legends and taught me some sacred teachings, but most importantly, they have taught me the history of our peoples. Understanding your lineage and acknowledging the history is vital in learning about the person you are. For example, through learning about my culture and some of the issues impacting my people, I have become passionate about the REDress Project, which focuses on the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls epidemic. I am continuously researching and take every opportunity to educate not only myself, but my community on this important issue. Knowing where you come from also helps you create connections. For example, I feel connected to the land with every step I take, and I know if I have a burden, I can say my spirit name and this weight will be lifted from me. Although the history of some backgrounds is not always happy, learning our ethnic roots helps people attain a better understanding of their lineage. It teaches compassion, resilience, and creates a connection. If people do not learn about their roots, history will begin to repeat itself and certain aspects of cultures will be lost. Rainy River District, there is no time like the present to learn more about where you come from, and I encourage everyone to start diving into their history because the feeling of cultural connection is incredible. Thank you.