"The ceremony and ritual is the glue that holds my body, my mind, and spirit together, in a good way. When I allowed myself to feel, in ceremony, is when I started to heal."
Gerry recounts his journey towards living a life of ceremony. In his early years, Gerry associated ceremony with the protocols and traditions of the church. It wasn't until Gerry made significant changes in his life that he realized that his Indigenous community have ceremonies for every stage of life, for births, for naming, and more, and that those ceremonies were "the glue that held our people together."
For Gerry, this begged the question: why aren't we doing these anymore?
The answer is colonization: Indigenous ceremonies were outlawed under the Indian Act in Canada in order to try to assimilate Indigenous peoples into the western lifestyle, and those brave people who held onto the old ceremonies and languages did so with the threat of incarceration looming over them. Nonetheless, this loss of ceremony had a profound effect on the peoples.
Gerry speaks to the power of ceremonies and encourages us to consider ways in which we can breathe life into our community histories by learning and living these parts of our cultures. He shares the ways in which ceremony have helped him to overcome some of the more difficult challenges he's faced in his life.