School you are asked to do a presentation, and its nauseating, a chore, a scary notion. You are the Best-man and its your job to give the Toast, don’t want to bore the crowd. You are given a pouch of tobacco to do an Opening prayer at a big event, you get the nervous feeling, the shaky legs and the bouncy voice. Being tasked with, asked or told to speak in front of people can be uncomfortable, very scary. Some people relish in the arena of public speaking, for others its a job and not one you really enjoy.
To speak shouldn’t have to be a chore. I heard this one guy say “it’s an honour”. He was asked to do an Opening Prayer at an Indigenous event. He said “People have trust, faith in you to go Talk to the Creator on their behalf.” It is such a good thing. I had the honour of speaking a few times at funeral services of family and friends. Each time I felt a good feeling of pride and fear. Fear I would not do right by the people and by the person I was speaking about. However, after each moment I felt so good. I was given the honour of Speaking, using my voice to share good energy about their, our loved one.
I ask you to always remember the sentiment, “you are provided with an honour of the voice.” Many many people all throughout our world do not have the luxury of being able to speak, to have their voice heard. Even in Canada some of our voices are being muted.
A friend of mine was in the Forces (an elite part) and he said the worst thing you could to a fellow soldier was to “silence” them. This was a way to get them to quit. They would ignore the person completely; like they didn’t exist. It became so difficult for the person ultimately they would quit. Having your voice silenced or ignored is just ugly.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is a collective voice. Problem is people ignore them. Our own people hardly listen to their voice, their speak. As a whole we will say Women are our most valued and important voice in Society. These words are not reflected in our actions. Our Indigenous lobby groups just look like men’s clubs. It is still a rarity to have a Woman as leader of our community or lobby group.
How can we support the voice of Women? It seems we have the old world mindset of Women as the lesser being. I have no idea. We have the norm of being the voice in the home. You see it in our mannerism. You see it in how we live. We value their voice but value ours more. We hold onto the remote as the head voice in the house. We voice where we go to eat, which movie, what we name our children, where we live and so on.
Even Women have adopted the role of being the second voice. It is systemic to our world right now. We can only change it if we change it in our own homes. Let’s honour the voice, the speak of our Mom’s, our Grannies, of our Sisters, our Aunties, our Daughters by hearing them and being part of the un-silencing of their voice.