Power of knowledge through education is moving our people forward
- Alyson Bear | July 24, 2020
The children are the future. Therefore, paving a better path forward is dependent on us and to continue the hard work of those who have come before us. The odds are stacked against us in many ways, but we continue to break barriers despite the ongoing systemic oppression. We deserve the truth and education is a part of discovering that truth. The truth will set us free and arm us with the tools to take back our space and assert the truth in those spaces. There is power in discovering the truth of history and who we are and we have a duty to pass that down to the future generations.
We are taking back that power by becoming educated in a system that was not built for us. We are taking back that power by reclaiming our ceremonies and traditions. Colonialism and its institutions and laws have taken its toll on dismantling Indigenous Nations and families, but we are putting those pieces back together by finding who we truly are and what we are capable of. We are dismantling stereotypes and helping pave the way for more to come as those who have come before us have done.
As someone who was supposed to walk the stage this year to convocate and obtain my Juris Doctorate degree from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan it has been heartbreaking to not be able to celebrate this milestone as we normally would. I wish for all 2020 grads to feel pride in their hard work and achievements. I had a hard last term, full of doubt and exhaustion but I was told, “you get that degree because it will open up many doors for you to walk through and carry that knowledge you have into spaces that might not be open for everyone.” I very much feel that now.
There is a lesson in everything. I find this lesson to be a very humbling experience. Humility is one of the seven sacred teachings, along with love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom and truth. Humility allows us to acknowledge how far we have come, but in a way that we do not need the recognition that we may desire. We do things out of love instead and to better our families, our Nations and wider community. It is about the work we do selflessly, our hard work and dedication speaks for itself and is something no one can take away. To accept what is and continue to keep moving forward whether or not we receive the acknowledgement we sometimes long for. We know in our hearts and the Creator knows how much we put into breaking cycles and barriers for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.
Therefore, surrounding ourselves and being reflective of the true few who have helped us get to where we are and being thankful for who and what it is that keeps you going when you thought you would not make it is perhaps the greatest lesson. We can take something more away from this experience than the loss of not having what is considered a normal celebration.
Stand in your power, stand with pride and keep moving forward onto the next chapter, knowing that you have everything you need within you. You have come this far not only to come this far but to continue being a beacon of hope for the future generations. Our relatives are watching, our children are watching, and the Creator is watching and at the end of the day the ones who matter most are with you whether they are in the spirit world or with us now.
My dad once told me, “you are new warriors armed with books.” I share this because that is what you are. This one is for all of you graduating in the class of 2020. I might not know you personally, but I am so very proud of you. This law degree I just achieved is very much my daughters’ as it is mine, it has been the three of us on this journey day and night and together we rise. Let us celebrate our lives and take back our power together.