just got back from trip to prince albert, saskatchewan, to play a gig with leela gilday for the prince albert grand council’s celebration of international women’s day. there were some lovely moments in the ceremony, especially the elder woman who did the blessing for the food, and the 90 year old woman who was honoured. these women are amazing, so strong. and so incredibly cute!
it was really very interesting to be at an event such as this, where first nations citizens took this concept of international women’s day (a very worthy occasion but which, let’s face it, came out of a political landscape shaped by the western, mostly white feminist movement), and made it their own. there were a lot of speeches by the chiefs of the nations in the saskatchewan area, almost all of which were in native languages.
i love the sounds of these languages, and how different they all are. all over prince albert, or at least where i was, there was very little english being spoken, especially parents with children. in the hotel restaurant friday morning was a small child (all in pink) running around, and her mother calling to her, each speaking one of the indigenous languages. you could tell what was going down though—the universal “you-get-back-here-right-this-minute-young-lady-or-you’ll-see-what-happens!”. some things never change.
it was really surprising and exciting to me to see that. there is so much i don’t know about how that world really is. it struck me very hard about how all the talking we do about media bias and narrow worldviews are really so very true. i like to think of myself as someone who is in tune with reality and understands the way communities work, and the bias against them, but being in P.A. and attending that celebration really brought it home to me how little i know.