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Indigenous Knowledge

Orange Shirt Day

Today is a day of remembrance for those who were affected by residential indian boarding schools. A day to give love to those little children taken from their families, some lost and some wounded for what seemed like forever. But today in a sea of orange, there is hope… as we call back to mind each of those beautiful souls, those who have suffered because of their differences, we can hold them in love and light, and let them shine their beautiful light to the world through us. Through our awareness, we can acknowledge and then take action in a new direction. In the direction we desire to see in the world.

Orange = Self Expression

When we hold space and bring awareness to a story, we have the opportunity to change the ending… to heal the past and create a beautiful future by sending the love now.

Growing up as a native american in Maryland I felt out of place because my bone structure was different from everyone else’s. My mom always told me that it was because I was native. I didn’t like it very much. My name was also different… Raine… I got made fun of often…. “Raine Raine go away and don’t come back.” My name was very native, or hippy. I didn’t always like it.

Going back to the reservation in North Dakota and visiting my cousins… life was so different for them then it was for me. We would usually visit during the summer for a week or so before driving back to Maryland. I would run in fields of wild grass, sweet grass and sage… never realizing how sacred it was. I would see life for the people on the reservation and feel many things, as they lived differently then I did. Living on the reservation wasn’t something I desired to do.

There was always one thing that stuck with me though… the sacred spiritual knowledge that I felt in my bones, deep down within my being….calling out to me to remember. I felt it when i danced in pow-wows.

When I was 12 I was honored with a naming ceremony….See my parents, even though they believed in religious teachings, always had an underlying connection to spirit in their lives. During my naming ceremony, our medicine woman shared that it was uncommon to be given the same name in ceremony that your parents named you. And that the creator told my mom to name me Raine Dawn because that was who I am… so my Anishinaabe name is Raining in the Dawn Woman.

After that experience, I began on a deep journey into spirituality (unknown to myself at the time, but looking back that is where it started) through Baptist, and Pentecostal religions… along with a deep connection to the holy spirit and feeling called to work with the youth, I started to really align who I was with who I am. Through attending a christian college to be a youth pastor, to going to Towson University to be an Art educator…. uncovering that deep connection to spirit that I felt within.

The path is so magickal and I feel so honored to be given the opportunity to be me, and share what I know and see with the world.

And all of this beautiful life because my grandmother and her grandmother and her grandmother made choices and took actions in ways that allowed me to flourish and become who I am today. Because my mother had a vision, to love her children and give them a life she never had… I am who I am today. I am grateful for the journey… as it reminds us we are all connected. <3

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