National Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Jewel and Shaun in image for Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Community Support / June 21st, 2024

Featured image: Jewel Pierre-Roscelli, and Shaun Vincent

Growing up, I wasn’t proud of my Indigenous identity. I would always tell people I was of a different ethnicity or culture. Intergenerational trauma due to colonization and the effects of residential schools left me with the shameful feeling and embarrassment of being Indigenous. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I unlearned this shame and the embarrassment and started to feel proud of who I am. With the resurgence and reclamation of Indigenous culture nation-wide, I feel like a lot of our relatives are in the same boat as me. 

National Indigenous History Month is so important to me because I don’t feel as if the true story of the Indigenous people of Turtle Island is fully known and understood. There are many negative stereotypes, untrue assumptions and the continued erasure of Indigenous peoples. The reality is that we are still here. Each of us are on our own healing journey after our communities were broken and Indigenous children were taken to residential schools. In the wake of the Calls to Action by the National Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, we must first begin with the Truth.

Being able to share my experiences as a visibly Indigenous woman with my colleagues in a safe way and in a way that allows them to build an understanding is meaningful to me. Now, I am proud to say that I am a Dakota woman and am taking small steps to reclaim my language and culture. I am also proud to tell people that I work at Vincent Design, alongside one of my best friends, Shaun Vincent. Shaun is Métis from St. Laurent and being able to spend time with his family, on his land, is so special. 

The connection that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people have, is so strong. Our humour and ability to laugh together extends across nations – I say that we are all “cuzzins.”

Jewel and Gramma Shingoose.
Jewel Pierre-Roscelli and Gramma Shingoose

A lot of the work that our team creates is focused on storytelling. Storytelling has been a way for Indigenous people to share knowledge since time immemorial and it is still true today. Our team focuses on making sure that we do the research, consult the proper elders/knowledge carriers and honour their time, and represent the story, community or organization in a good way. Being trusted to tell the story helps ground our community and is a way to show that we are still here. I am proud to see the work that comes out of our office and it gives me hope that other Indigenous people will see it and it will help ignite the reminder to be proud of your culture and heritage. 

Read more of our team’s reflections as we commerated Indigenous History Month

Reflections with Serenity: Indigenous History Month