Have you ever jumped out of an airplane? Gerry has, with his sister Nancy! On this episode, we hear about Gerry and Nancy's adventures skydiving in beautiful Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc Territory as a couple of Elders! Gerry shares a story of reconciliation between himself and his sister as a way of introducing the topic of this episode; family healing and reconciliation within Indigenous communities is critical to rebuilding healthy relationships for the wellness of the community as a whole.
In the past, our communities had ceremonies and protocols for healing and repairing unhealthy relationships which had served our cultures for thousands of years. As a result of colonization and the criminilization of our languages and cultural ceremonies, we've nearly lost our connection to some of our Indigenous methods. While healing and reconciliation are incredibly important for the balanced wellness of our communities, it can be very difficult to do when facing intergenerational trauma, addictions, mental health challenges and family divides.
Skydiving with her older brother Gerry was on Nancy's bucket list. Gerry remembers being in awe of his sister on that Sunday afternoon, amazed by her courage and her tenacity. He learned through the powerful and wonderful feeling of connecting with his sister, that we sometimes forget how to be families. Gerry reminds us that this is one of the goals of colonization and cultural genocide - to disrupt the family systems - and that sometimes it is possible to push through stressful and frustrating conflicts amongst our famillies. Reconciliation is repairing damaged relationships. We can do it, but we need role models to do this; we need stories to point to because it can be done. Gerry shares a story about his relationship with his brother that points to this fact: it's never too late to start working on those relationships. As Gerry says, we have to say hello to our problems before we can say goodbye to them, and the problem is man-made, therefore we can fix them!