So this summer has been incredible. We have increased our community support, we are proudly offering more locations to serve women, and we are getting busy preparing for our biggest fundraiser, International Women’s Day 2015. This summer was wonderful and the season ended appropriately with an inspiring and emotional grad at the Tsawout First Nation.
There are 5 recent graduates from the Tsawout Bridges Employment Program. These ladies are amazing and they are going places. Each has a goal and a plan to reach that goal. Their strength inspires me. I was most inspired by the bonds they created with each other. They lifted each other up in their words and actions, a sisterhood was formed. I was also touched by their strength as mothers. Their kids were happily playing, jumping, giggling, and these ladies were so involved and so loving. The ladies showed off their beautiful children, and emanated with pride. These children and their mothers are so blessed to be part of the Tsawout community. I have never been to a grad with so much community support. There are 5 ladies who graduated and there were 100 people at the graduation ceremony. Family came from far and near, the Tsawout crafters circle came to show their support, and many Tsawout elders came as well. These women are part of an incredible community.
I don’t believe an eye was dry during the speeches from family members. Every woman’s family went to the mic to profess their pride, their support and their love for their daughters, sisters, or partners. Not only that, but elders came and acknowledged each woman’s unique gifts and strengths, offering advice and support as these ladies continue in their quest to achieve their dreams. It was a privilege to be a part of these special moments.
An amazing part of this grad was the traditional ceremonial aspects. It is incredible to see a First Nation group dedicated to the decolonization process. There was singing, dancing, prayers in the traditional language. There were remarks about solidarity in a colonized world and how to rise in the face of oppression. These grads will succeed through all challenges and difficulties with their dedication to their goals and the support from their community.
Congratulations ladies, you are inspiration to us all. You will do great things.