In this piece, Jenna Kring, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre’s Indigenous Programs and Events Associate, shares some inspiring words about being a safe space for others
Hold your head up
Lift the top of your mind
Put your eyes on the Earth
Lift your heart to your own home planet
What do you see?Carry it on: Buffy Sainte Marie
Shé:kon sewakwé:kon, Jenna Kring iónkia’ts. Kanien’kéha:ka niwakonhontisó:ten. I find myself getting lost in thinking of what the future will bring, even though the future is out of my control. Taking a moment to breathe and seeing ways I can improve on the now can help influence the future. I must start somewhere, how about today, with myself. As a Two-Spirit person, I strive to cultivate being a safe space for others. By using self-reflection to monitor my actions and continuing with independent education on issues that surround daily life. Acknowledging I have no control over how others react or feel towards me. I can, however, control my actions and speech and make my own space in this world. By finding my voice to advocate for myself, I can have a strong voice to advocate for those who need one.
Working together as a group to create a safer place for each other can start on the individual level. By self-reflecting on how to improve my mindset and make others feel safer around me. How can I cultivate a safe space and continue to do so? Self-reflection can be key, by reflecting on how I handled past situations. Self-improvement can lead to change, on an individual level and a systematic level. Being able to draw people to you means you are not alone and when people are united, change can happen. Hopefully, change for the better.
I want to keep my eyes open to the world around me, like how Buffy Sainte Marie sings “what do you see?”. I want to answer that call and say, “a better world.” This may take a long time and a lot of work to get there. I hope to see that better world and start by looking inwards towards myself. Nya:wen’kó:wa