"I AM AN INVISIBLE CHILD"
A personal account of the Canadian Residential School trauma and how inter-generational abuse affects all our communities...
Aaniin, boozhoo, hello!
My name is Simone McLeod, my traditional name is Aki-egwaniizid. It means "All that covers the earth". I am one of thousands of survivors of the Residential/Boarding School horror that has held Native Peoples in Canada and the United States in a devastating grip for almost 130 years.
Some time ago I wrote a book about my life. I am not ashamed of the roads that I had to walk down. I am not ashamed of the ways in which people made me feel about myself. Or of how I often felt dirty and, sometimes, like nothing at all.
I will never be quiet about my life and I will never feel shame at how my people choose to deal with this. We are someone's resilient child inside and we will come back strong wearing our scars like armour!
Illustration: Invisible Child, miniature deep edge textured canvas by Simone McLeod.
> Read the next episode in the Teaching Stories series: The Paradoxical Nature of Life.
About the authors/artists:
Simone McLeod (her traditional name is Aki’-egwaniizid, which is an Ojibwe name meaning "Earth Blanket") is an Anishinaabe painter and poet, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1962. She belongs to he Name doodem (Sturgeon clan). Simone feels a special kinship with her mother's people, the Azaadiwi-ziibi Nitam-Anishinaabeg ("#16" Poplar River First Nation) of Manitoba. She descends from a long line of Midewiwin seers and healers and artists. Her artwork has been appreciated by several art collectors and educational and health care institutions from Canada, as well as by art lovers from all over the world.