I am a white settler living and working on Treaty 4 land, which is the traditional territory of the Cree (nêhiyawak), Saulteaux (Nahkawé), Nakota, Dakota, Lakota, and the Métis Nation. I am a descendent of European ancestors from East Galicia (a region in Western Ukraine and Poland), Belgium, France, and Ireland.
My mother’s family came to Saskatchewan in 1928, while my father’s family immigrated to New York in the late 1800s and later moved to Montreal. It is important to me to situate myself with my ancestors and recognize that I am an uninvited guest on this territory.
I grew up in Weyburn, where I lived with my mom, and Katepwa Lake, where I lived with my dad on weekends. Although Katepwa Lake is very close to Fort Qu’Appelle, where Treaty 4 was signed, I did not learn that I was living on Treaty 4 territory or understand the ways I was benefitting from Treaty until I was in university. This understanding is still evolving. I feel deeply connected to Katepwa Lake and the hills, valleys, trees, and water that shaped my childhood and adolescent years.
I am also a cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied woman and I acknowledge the privilege that comes with those identities. Situating myself is part of my process of understanding my Treaty responsibilities as a settler and unpacking what it means for me to be a good Treaty neighbour and relative. I currently work as an Instructional Coach for Indigenous and Treaty Education with South East Cornerstone Public School Division. As a settler in this role, I am developing relationships with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and resource people in the area and working towards mutually beneficial partnerships with our neighbouring communities, including Ocean Man, Pheasant Rump, and White Bear First Nations.