I could be your Sister,

I could be your Cousin,

I could be your Daughter,

I could be your Mother,

I could be your Aunt,

I could be your Grandmother,

I could be your wife/girlfriend/significant other,

I could be your friend,

I could be the girl next door,

I could be your boss,

I could be the homeless Woman,


I could be the girl on the street looking for a better way.

I could be all these things

For as a Woman

I represent all of these.

I ask you, “when you see a woman,

         What is the first thing you think?”

Most people notice the attraction factor which judges

Their perception as they see the Woman as an object.

“She’s high maintenance”

“She’s hard to handle”

“Hit her and quit her”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Yet it is subject to likes, wants, and desires.

True beauty goes beyond the outside shell.

True beauty comes from within.

The shell of the human body is like a car

And what really matters is under the hood.

The parts you do not see,

Unless you take the time to lift the hood

And see the mechanisms of power.

If I was not seen as

an object,

a prized possession,

A trophy,

something to own,

And instead seen as a human being,

Complete with experiences, feelings, and emotions.

Then you may start to see me as a Woman

And someone you can relate to.

We judge appearances, looks, hairstyles, fashion, and sexuality

And continually look for acceptance and reward

From others.

Diminishing our true selves just to fit in.

Our desire to compete and want what others want

Leads to mindless consumption and the desire

To be someone else takes us far from

Our natural state of self-enlightenment.

This leads us to worship those who we see as “better”

Then ourselves and not to delve deeply into who we really are.

You choose to see me based on your

Attitudes, values, and experiences,

But imagine seeing ME.

Not my face, or my body

But seeing me as someone you care about.

Would you treat your grandmother, mother, sister, niece, or Aunt

The way you are about to treat me?

Ask yourself what is the difference?

Why does one woman deserve your love and affection and yet someone you have never met deserves your judgement and disdain.

We are all related.

We are all one.

We are all the same.

We are unique cells in a multi-organed vessel

         Called Mother Earth.

We need to find the love.

We need to find the peace.

We need to evolve and end the cycles of hate and war as war does not bring peace.

I want to be respected

As do most Women.

Those that do not want respect have been

Taught they do not deserve it.

They have submitted to their objectivity and cannot see

         Their value and worth.

They do not have self-love and have not been taught to forgive

         Themselves for the shame they feel for this submission

         And repeat the cycle continually.

They have boundary issues and do not know what respect feels like. 

Acceptance of self is of utmost importance,

Yet in this competition fueled, external reward filled,

         Addiction-loving world

Seeks acceptance form everywhere but self and within.

Respecting yourself and knowing what you need

         Starts deep within and requires listening to your

         Inner voice.

Not the voice of others trying to program you with their own

 conditioning and programming.

Your opinion is the only one that should matter to you.

Would you call your mother those names?

Would you point out all your grandmother’s faults to her?

Would you rape your sister?

Why would you do it to another woman?

See the sameness in them.

Respect the Feminine.

Women give life, they give comfort, they have wisdom/

Women have compassion and see the cycle that needs to

         Be broken.

All Women have a right to be respected

         In the way you respect your family members.

If we saw everyone as connected and family

We may be more willing to overlook what we do not understand

         And make more of an effort to learn.


-Dawn McIlmoyle

Healing Ourselves While Healing the Water


Healing the water through healing us

For: Professor James Wilkes

By:  Dawn McIlmoyle

Class: INDG 3631


     One only has to look at a Globe of the Earth or a map of the planet to see that we are a world full of water.  Mother Earth is covered in Water and it has been told that in the beginning before the Earth was even a habitable place it was all Water.  There were many creatures living in the World of Water however no humans (D. Longboat, 2017).  The Creation story holds many valuable lessons but one of the most valuable is that Mother Earth has provided for us everything that we have ever wanted or needed (D. Longboat, 2016).  If I were to paraphrase Professor Dan Longboat (2017) for the three rules of Creation I would say they are to be good, kind and loving and respectful to all your relations; to be good, kind and respectful to all of Creation and let it be your teacher; and Be thankful for all things that keep life going in a cycle and sustain us. In an introduction to Indigenous Environmental Studies course I was taught that we are taking things for granted.  Our physical bodies, our minds and our environment.  Our health has a direct correlation to our environment (D. Longboat, 2016).  If we are degrading ourselves and our environment then how are we showing honour to the Creator and all things yet to come.  If we do not live responsibly than what will be left for our children, grandchildren and their children.  The coming generations are what is most important, what will be left for them if we continue the path that society is walking.  When considering Mother Earth and our Environment the most important thing we need to remember are the 5 R’s which are relationships, respect, responsibility, reciprocity and restoration (D. Longboat, 2016).

     It is my humble opinion that our Mother the Earth is suffering because she is not being thanked and not many people are grateful for her sacrifices.  So many people take from the Earth and they never give back.  How exhausting it would be if people were constantly giving their time and energy but never receiving anything back.  If people did their jobs but never got paid they would constantly complain and probably not go back to that work environment.  What makes the Earth any different?  Could you imagine someone digging your insides out and not caring, not even using anaesthetic.  Our Water is becoming polluted at an alarming rate and most people are taking it for granted as if clean water is a given and will always be here.  More and more people are turning to bottled water and paying money for a resource that has always been here and should be appreciated.  Water has been turned into a commodity for enjoyment and pleasure.  You only need to go to a lake on a weekend in the summer to see what Society has done to our beautiful waterways.  Water is not being appreciated because people do not see what it is for.  This paper will discuss the importance of water and how it can be used to heal people.  Water deserves reciprocity.  Water gives the Earth and Creation so much vitality and it is rarely appreciated. It is the writer’s opinion that more and more people are getting sick physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, because the Earth is sick.  By returning to nature and giving the proper thanks for the wonderful gifts it gives us may be a turning point.  Mother Earth is suffering.  Her blood is polluted and her guts are being exorcized.  This paper will attempt to show that by respecting the Water and learning about it we can use Water in a reciprocal relationship and by healing the Water we can heal ourselves. This paper will be restricted a Canadian Indigenous view of our Mother Earth and water.  I will attempt to weave relevant literature which will lead to an ecopsychological viewpoint of how we can take Indigenous Knowledge of the Water and benefit all human beings that are in need of repair through such things as mental illness and PTSD.  Our Mother is out of balance and society is out of balance so if we (Human Beings of the Earth) could restore balance and harmony to nature and make it feel important than perhaps we could save Mother Earth and all of humanity. This can only be done by through the intimate knowledge of Indigenous people and the lands they care for.


In 2010 a paper was commissioned by the Atlantic Centre of Excellence of Women’s Health and the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence by Kim Anderson where she interviewed eleven grandmother’s who were of First Nations, Metis and Inuit decent.  This paper will be the basis of my literature review as I discuss the topics brought up by these traditional knowledge holders of this beautiful Country we call home.  The body of this paper starts with a lovely quote from Grandmother Jan Longboat about how “Water is life.”  The direct quote from her is:

            “Water is what sustains us.  Water is what brings us into the world, and water is

              what keeps us in this physical world.  And so, it’s our life. – Jan Longboat p.9”

Water comes in many forms and I think many people forget this.  It is a well-known fact that our bodies are made of water and that we will die if we do not have access to clean water.  I do not need to reference this as it is something that every person should know regardless of race, religion, gender, age or prestige.  When a child is born into this world it enters the world with a rush of water before it.  Its amniotic fluid yes but it is the water of life.  According to J. Longboat in K. Anderson (2010) everything that our spirit in this world needs is contained in the water in the womb. Your feelings and thoughts right from conception are with you in the womb.  Grandmother Pauline Shirt also adds that when you are in the womb with the water for the gestation period and you are taught and cared for by the person carrying you.  Your mother.  When you are born she states that the spirit of the water helps with the birth and the child flows out like a river.  Water is life as it sustains the baby in the womb and helps with the delivery, it is also in the breast milk and colostrum as soon as a baby is fed upon birth.  The biggest thing I noticed when reading these teachings was about how the baby was washed and cared for when coming into this world.  I have had two children and watched many born and in the hospital, they did not really wash the baby down.  The nurse grabbed a wet cloth and wiped enough to make the infant clean but that was it.  It is the mother’s responsibility for that first bath and it is usually not easy without guidance.  The Grandmothers discuss how important it was for ceremony and medicines with the birthing process and that because water is spirit it can be used for medicine (Anderson, 2010)

     Women are the water keepers of our Mother the Earth, although this is mostly only acknowledged in Indigenous societies (McGregor, D, 2008).  It is well known that the World has been fighting water issues and have made some big policies as I found discussed in White, Murphy, and Spence (2012}.  What I have discovered in much of the research I did on Indigenous Women and Water in Canada is that they are very excluded.  There have been many commissions done about safe drinking water in Canada and many studies done (White, Murphy, & Spence, 2012; McGregor, 2012; LaBoucane-Benson, Gibson, Benson, & Miller, 2012).  It is alarming to me that when knowledge is sought about water in the Communities by the Canadian Government and legislating bodies they do not ask the women.  The men are approached for their stories of the Water and what it means to them.  Men do not have the same connection to water however it is just as important to them.  Upon visiting our class in 2017 an Elder named Solomon Wawatie spoke of how the DNA of Indigenous people is in our rivers and lakes, ponds and streams.  It is the very blood of our Mother and filled with the spirit of its original inhabitants.  In one paper it is discussed how colonialism has resulted in leaving Indigenous peoples feeling powerless over their positions and futures.  Because of colonialism and society becoming patriarchal women have lost their positions.  The Indian Act and residential schools only added to these attitudes that women in Indigenous societies were not important (LaBoucane-Benson et al., 2012). This paper also includes teaching but from a male Indigenous perspective but includes the information about how we all need to come together and work as a community collectively with no distinction.  It is even stated how children of the coming generations need to work with Western and Traditional Knowledge if we are to have hope for tomorrow (LaBoucane-Benson, 2012). 

     As a non-Indigenous settler to this territory I have realized how important water is to our environment and this literature review was eye-opening for me.  Continuing in Anderson (2010) we find Grandmother Josephine Mandamin speaking of how Water is sentient and Water forms relationships. Grandmother Jean Aquash O’Chiese in Anderson (2010) points out the relationship between the water in our bodies and the water on our Mother the Earth and the interconnectedness.  Life is dependant on all of these connections.  They are what sustain us continually.  Many of the Grandmother’s also pointed out that water is changeable.  It can carry different energies and different spirits.  Grandmother Pauline pointed out that all water is special just like people, it all has different purposes and different work to do.  The Grandmother’s point out in this article that in the past people knew the purpose of the different waters and who was to enter them and who wasn’t.  What was sacred and what wasn’t (Anderson, 2010).  Water is now a commodity that most people have no clue where it originated from or what they are putting in their body.  One of the Grandmother’s commented on how anything that is put into plastic is dead so essentially it is my belief that bottled water is doing nothing but killing human beings because we are drinking something that the spirit has been taken from. 

     Water is being taken from Indigenous communities and diverted so that Cities can have clean water.  Indigenous people are being denied access to clean water at an alarming rate whereas people who have no clue what the water means are just abusing it.  Shoal Lake First Nation Reserve #40 has not had clean water for over 20 years and it is only recently anyone is doing anything.  A few documentaries have been done on this Reserve and how the city of Winnipeg has clean water but they do not.  An interesting one to watch where Shoal Lake #40 is mentioned is Colonization Road done by Firsthand and CBC Canada. (  White, Murphy, and Spence (2012) point out the paradox Canada has in what they even view as what safe drinking water is.  Committees and policies are adapted throughout the Country for people without even asking the people.  Indigenous people are often left out of decision processes because of colonialist practices. Environmental discrimination is a well-known fact to Indigenous people and has many references in this article however the main point is that the Canadian Government has created a dependency and is now limiting growth.  They pour money into projects with little or no thought as to the process of such things or who should be involved (White, et. Al., 2012; McGregor, 2012; McGregor 2008).

Water as Medicine and for Healing     

     Anderson (2010) then goes on to discuss that Water can Heal and what it takes for the Water to be able to keep sustaining us.   Grandmother Ellen White is quoted as saying:

            “Water will agree to help you with anything you ask of it.”

                                                                                    -Ellen White p.21

Water is often used to cleanse us when we are dirty and in this way, it protects us from harmful bacteria and things that may make us sick.  Water is often used in ceremonies for protection and cleansing of spirits.  This paper references Grandmother Ellen White saying that people used to ask for protection from the water and then dunked themselves in it four times (Anderson, 2010 p. 22).  While attending a Full Moon ceremony at Curve Lake First Nation a Grandmother told a teaching of how she had asked for an answer for menopause and the answer was in the water.  I do not have permission to use the exact teaching so I will not go into detail about it.  Suffice to say it was the first time I truly realized that water was for more than drinking and bathing.  In an Indigenous Studies class I started to attend in the fall of 2017 we had a visiting Elder Grandmother Shirley Williams and she spoke of how the water was always important to her and when she was in mischief as a youth her Elders sent her to the water.  She said she learned so much from the water and it had a profound impact on her life.  

     Water carries spirit; therefore, it is just as alive as you and I.  Water can hear and if you listen water will talk to you.  It is explained in Anderson (2010) that we can get negative energies entangled in our own and when we bathe, shower or go to the water we can ask it to wash away these energies.  This reminded me of when I have heard people say they need to wash their sins away when they have had indiscretions.  This must be done in a respectful manner though.  You could not just get in the water and ask away for a million things.  There is no respect in that.  This is where Reciprocity comes in.  If someone asks you to do something in a manner where it is an order and there is no thankfulness in it you would most likely not want to carry that out.  You may do it grudgingly and then hold a resentment against that person because that is the way society is conditioned.  The water will clean us, it will nourish us and it will be there for us whenever we want and it does this without asking for anything from us.  However, one only needs to look at the condition of the water anywhere in the world and you can realize this isn’t free.  The water is suffering and not many people who are not close to the land can see this.  As a little girl I can remember seeing the pollution in the water and knowing it did not belong there.  This was 40 years ago when we could still swim whenever we wanted to.  The lakes and rivers were not polluted to the extent that they are now.  I was never taught that water was important but I knew it was and I had a connection with it.  I have conducted mini social experiments with women and water on my own and not in a scientific manner.  I have asked women who know nothing about Indigenous culture or traditions to explain to me what water means to them.  I have not had one woman yet tell me that water does not bring them peace and tranquility.  Many women tell me that when they are sad they often go to the water and one of the most interesting things I have learned is that when some women are in pain they seek solace in the bath.  It reminded me of a childhood commercial where the woman is in a bathtub with bubbles and soap saying “Calgon take me away.”  These women have no clue that they have an inherent physical, emotional, mental and spiritual connection with the water.  They see it as a convenience provided to them to cleanse them or relax in.  I asked some of these women if they had ever thanked the water for joy it provided them and I got looked at like I had three heads.  Suddenly I was an outsider in the conversation because I had suggested thanking a natural resource.  Why would anyone do that?  I often go back to the Biocultural Framework taught by Dan Longboat (2016) when I explain things to people about how everything that we do has an impact on us, the Earth and all of Creation.  To change people’s behaviours and practices we need to change attitudes, which consists of changing values and beliefs.  This all boils down to culture and how each and every culture applies to an ecosystem (D. Longboat, 2016).   Our Earth is multi-cultural and each nation holds its own beliefs.  Within Canada itself we have a broad range of nationalities and the First People here know this land intimately (Anderson, 2010; Anderson, Clow and Haworth-Brockman, 2011; McGregor, 2012; McGregor 2008).  We should be listening to the people that know and care for the land the most.  As normal human beings we advocate for the things that are most important to us.  Our health care, our justice system, our education, our possessions.  These are not the important things.  And how often are we thankful for the things that are given to us quite freely.  Most people do not get upset until the things that they use so freely are no longer there.  In society I would not keep giving freely to someone who kept taking from me and did not say thank you.  So why should our Mother the Earth be any different.  Her frustration is building and she is getting so sick and people are complaining.  Our waterways are polluted.  Springs and ponds which once were homes to animals and plants are now polluted.  The spring where my own non-Indigenous family first settled in Mount Pleasant, Ontario as one of the first settlers in the area is now undrinkable.  When my son was born in 1994 this was my only source for clean water for him and I.  I would drive there and fill the jugs to sustain my son and I but I never thought of thanking this precious resource.  Now it is polluted.  No one can drink from it.  People took advantage of the resource and did not appreciate it. I often go to this place and I talk to it and try to make it feel important again.  I take it gifts and on special occasions I go visit for the serenity it provides me.  I may not be able to drink it anymore but I can make sure it knows it is still loved.

     When these women I ask about thanking the water look at me strangely and I begin to educate them in a way that I feel I have no right to I ask the Creator to help me remember the teachings of my teacher Dan Longboat and the true honest teachings of all the people that I have heard and felt in my journeys.  I tell these women that if we can appreciate the water the way we appreciate superficial things than the rewards are endless.  Indigenous Women are leading the way through Ceremonies and Water Walks. They thank the water every day.  The spirit of the water is with them in everything they do and every cell of their very being (Anderson, 2010; McGregor, 2008). I tell these women that it is so simple to thank something that gives us such nourishment and joy but it is not something that is high on their list of priorities.  I cannot change their attitudes or years and years of conditioning that we ask for things without giving the proper recognition to what really deserves respect and honour but I can plant seeds.  By my constant educating and asking them questions it causes them to think about the water and how important it really is in their lives.  When my young girlfriend was leaving for an extended trip to Australia the advice I gave her was that when she was homesick and sad and felt like she had nothing to be thankful for to think of the water.  She giggled and said I was sweet but almost every single picture she sent me from Australia had the water and her in it.  Conn (1998) speaks of an ecopsychological perspective of health.  She speaks of how in Cartesian Duality humans are separate from the non-human world and somehow think they are superior.  Each person must identify with something separate from another.  This causes disconnection in Society.  Most people do not realize that their own illnesses are manifestations of their exterior energies (Conn, 1998).  She describes the definition of a Native American word for insane/madness in the Okanagan language.  This spoken word includes four syllables each with a definitive meaning. Briefly the first syllable represents the tendency to talk inside your head; the second syllable is speaking of being scattered and having no community; the third syllable is for having no relationship to the land; and the fourth and final syllable refers to a total disconnect from the Earth (Conn, 1998). Well if this is a definition of insanity and madness than it is my opinion and mine alone that a good majority of the world is insane or totally mad. 

     Conn (1998) goes on to reveal in her paper that in order for one to have good health one needs to feel connected and unique.  That includes opening oneself up to the Universe and realizing there is more out there that just material reality.  Last year I conducted research into using nature as a healing tool for PTSD and mentally ill Veterans and I have been watching Veterans groups and seeing more and more people turning to nature to heal.  More and more of them want to run away and live off the land but they do not know why.  Many wounded people have begun to look to Indigenous ways to heal as they know the land better than anyone and they know the Universe.  I can remember being young and the only thing I knew about Indigenous people was that they knew everything was alive.  I knew this as well but when I spoke of it I was quickly silenced.  I never understood how someone could tell me that what I thought wasn’t right but the people that lived a few miles from me could believe that with all of their hearts and beings. I was ostracized and abused for holding different beliefs and then finally supressed them all.  My connection with Mother Earth was suppressed and my healing did not begin until I was reconnected to her.  My ecosystem is the Earth and the Water is her veins and lifeblood (Anderson, 2010; LaBoucane-Benson, et al. 2012).   Water is often appreciated for its physical and chemical qualities and the fact that it can do amazing things like be a solid, liquid or gas but rarely is water ever acknowledged for its spiritual properties (Blackstock, 2001).  Blackstock (2001) also points out that Western Science’s definition of an ecosystem includes the organism is separate from the environment.  Each organism and environment is studied individually and broken down to its basic compounds. Everything is separate from each other.  Water is not really mentioned as a separate part of the ecosystem it is grouped in with the physical environment.   Indigenous people and women especially know that the water is alive and has a spiritual component to it that is too often forgotten.  If you go back to mythology and look at the Gods and Goddesses they have connections to the water, it is even mentioned in Blackstock (2001) the ancient Greeks believe the Earth was once a water world formed from water. 


     Humanity needs to go back to basics and start appreciating the things that really matter before they are gone.  The water is polluted, used as a commodity and for summer enjoyment.  The animals and plants that depend on the water are getting sick from the pollution.  Cottagers are complaining about things like manoomiin (wild rice) growing and blocking their prestige expensive waterfront.  At a town hall meeting the cottagers were so frustrated they resulted to name calling and speaking about how they were entitled to be able to get their boats and jet skis in and out of their properties because their families had owned it for generations.  One woman spoke of how her grandfather had owned that land on that lake for 80 years and there had never been an “invasive species” like manoomiin there to her recollection.  My heart hurt and I was filled with pain for a plant that has just begun to resurge.  The water is shallow and something has happened which has allowed for optimum conditions for Indigenous people to harvest manoomiin.  This little hardy plant is coming back because it’s people need it.  The water, the plants, the trees, the animals, they are all sick but still here for us because they know their original purpose.  Professor Dan Longboat (2017) stated that if we are not thankful for things than they will disappear.  I have a granddaughter and the day she was born my whole life changed.  I was not worried about the world when I had sons but the minute she came into my life my awakening began.  Our Mother the Earth provides us with everything we need and all she asks of us is to be thankful.  How hard is that?  How hard is it to appreciate the little things? We say thank you for things all the time without thinking twice because that is the way we were raised for the most part. 

     My task at hand is to bring the Bio Cultural Framework alive in everything I do and make sure that people realize that the Indigenous people of Canada and all over the world have the answers.  Everyone has the answers if they can open themselves up enough to the Universe.  Trauma rips people open spiritually leaving them with a wound in their soul that only our Mother the Earth can heal but she can only do that if she is healthy. I am going to take my stand with my Indigenous brothers and sisters and my wounded friends and I want to help ensure that our Mother is appreciated, respected, honoured and cherished ALWAYS by all people.  I am a human being of the Earth.  She is my mother.  My father is the Sun, my grandmother is the Moon, and my grandfather is the Sky.  I am neither a woman or a man, I am a free spirit and I live to please the Creator each day.  I pray I can do him justice and honour him in all that I do each and every day on my journey to reconnect women back to the water and its importance.  I have a granddaughter now.  It is my duty.  My Service to Creation.  I hope this paper serves as an introduction into why water is important for health and how we can begin to use it to heal but only if we are thankful.  Reciprocity in everything.  Thank you for your time and again this is my interpretation and my words of the research I have done. My thoughts and I am only one person.


Anderson, K. (2010). Aboriginal Women, Water and Health:  Reflections from Eleven First

     Nations, Inuit and Metis Grandmothers. Retrieved from


Anderson, K., Clow, B., and Haworth-Brockman, M. (2011).  Carriers of Water: Aboriginal

    Women’s Experience, Relationships and Reflections. Journal of Cleaner Production 60,

     p. 11-17.

Blackstock, M. (2001). Water:  A First Nations’spiritual and ecological perspective, BC Journal of

     Ecosystems and Management 1(1), p 1-14.

Conn, S. (1998). Living in the Earth:  Ecopsychology, Health and Psychotherapy.  The Humanistic

     Psychologist 6 (1-3), p 179-198.

LaBoucane-Benson, P., Gibson, G., Benson, A, and Miller, G. (2012). Are We Seeking Pimatisiwin

     Or Creating Pomewin?  Implications for Water Policy. The International Indigenous Policy

    Journal 3 (3) Art. 10.

Firsthand. (2017). Colonization Road.

Longboat, D. (2016-2017). Various lectures in IESS 2601.  Introduction to Indigenous

     Environmental Issues.  Trent University, Ontario, Canada.

McGregor, D. (2008).  Anishnaabe-Kwe, Traditional Knowledge and Water Protection.

     Canadian Woman Studies 26 (8), p. 26-30.

McGregor, D. (2012).  Traditional Knowledge: Considerations for Protecting Water in Ontario.

     The International Indigenous Policy Journal 3 (3). Retrieved from:


Wawatie, Solomon (2017).  Visiting Elder to IESS 3631H, October 5. Trent University,

     Ontario, Canada.

White, J. Murphy, L., Spence, N. (2012). Water and Indigenous Peoples:  Canada’s Paradox.

     The International Indigenous Policy Journal 3(3). Retrieved from:


Williams, Shirley. (2017).  Visiting Elder to Indigenous Environmental Health. October. Trent

    University, Ontario, Canada.

Gender Based Violence Disruptor

When in conversations about gender-based violence (GBV) we automatically conjure up images of physical brutality.  Violence is often thought of as overt. An assault to your physical being.  With this kind of violence there is usually some sort of proof.  A broken bone, bruises, a black eye, or even scars.  There is physical damage from this type of violence. Damage you can watch heal with your own very eyes.  When the wounds are healed and you can no longer see the bruises or when the cast is gone and you can use your arm again, those around you will think you are okay now.  They fail to see the psychological damage that is done to the person’s psyche.  The wound that takes longer to heal.  The injury to their Soul that leaves them wondering what is wrong with them. 

As a female non-Indigenous settler growing up on Anishinaabe territory of the Mississauga’s in Ontario I have experienced many different aspects of gender-based violence. From a patriarchal father who thought boys were of more value, sexual abuse in sea cadets, military sexual trauma, sexual assault, abusive marriages, domestic violence, and plain assault.  I have been demeaned and revictimized for standing up and speaking out for myself and others.  When speaking out about abuse in the Canadian Armed Forces I was told I was “a black mark on Canadian history” and “the worst thing to happen to the CAF” by older men who thought that Women had no business serving their Country and were there for their pleasure. I was chastised and belittled by my local police department when trying to keep safe from my abusive ex-husband who already had 15 charges. I had many judgements imposed upon me for being a single mother without a consistent support system.

The psychological trauma I have faced throughout my life for being a Woman has been more detrimental than any assault to my physical being.  I have been objectified and put in a box with a label like a present just for being a Woman. I have been used, abused, and thrown away like a disposable paper plate but I do not go away.  I am judged by my looks, what I wear and how I act consistently. I am objectified for wearing things that make me feel good but make other people feel uncomfortable. 

The whole problem started with the conditioning by my parents of “what a good girl” consisted of and what they knew about gender conformity.  I never felt like “just a girl” and they could never explain it to me.  My brother was eleven months younger than me and I could never comprehend why he got to do some things, but I could not because “I was a girl.” I never understood why I could not play football because “I was a girl” and encouraged to become a cheerleader. I could not understand why my other girlfriends thought this was ok.  I have done and accomplished much in my life.  Graduated high school, served my Country, raised 2 sons basically alone, owned a home for 16 years, got a Nursing degree while working full time and raising those 2 sons, and I left 3 abusive marriages. However, in my Dad’s eyes I will never be as amazing as my Brother. In my family my brother could do no wrong and I could do no right.  This left me with a constant desire to prove myself to my Father to my own detriment so now my desire is to prove to myself that I can persevere and continue this quest called life. 

When I think of gender-based violence I do not think about the military sexual trauma or the domestic abuse, the demeaning, or the belittling for being a woman, I think about the barriers and limitations that were put on a young girl that kept her from discovering who she truly was because she was too busy fighting the stigmas attached to gender conformity.  I think about how it feels to think “maybe if I was a man, they would help me, listen to me or believe me” I think about the young girl who is constantly underestimated, misunderstood, and called things like overdramatic and crazy just because of her gender. 

I think about how males and females are equal, complements of each other. I think about how the job should be based on ability to perform and qualifications to do so, and long for the days when gender is not a barrier. I long for the days when women find their voices and the words “because you are a girl” are never spoken again.  I choose to believe that one day we will all see each other as family and encouragement and acceptance of all will be the way.  Women’s voice will be heard. The masculine and the feminine will unite and gender-based violence will become a thing of the past, like cannibalism.

-Renegade Lightworker

All views and opinions are mine and mine alone and it is my hope you view them with an open mind and an open heart.


There are a lot of people out there

that take one side and judge.

They see the view of one person only.

They are anti this and pro that.

There is their way or the highway.

They quickly weed their circle of friends

of anyone that does not share

their grandiose views and opinions.

They fail to see any World

except the one they live in.

They are sometimes irrational in their beliefs

and cannot actually tell you

why they are standing that ground.

These people fail to take personal accountability

or admit any wrongdoings.

Then there are the rare gems in the crowd.

That look outside the box,

they get a feel for others,

they listen to all involved.

These diamonds in a World of coal

cannot even form an opinion

as they see the story from all angles.

The big picture presents itself to them,

the consequences, the reprecussions, the wholeness.

These are the people

that fight for the freedom

for you to be your authentic self,

for you to believe what you believe.

These people are the ones

that would lay down their life

to protect truth and innocence.

If they could take your suffering away,

They would.

These are often the outcasts of Society,

The Black Sheep, The Witch, The Crazy Ones.

The ones the majority of Society snubs

because they don’t “Get them.”

These are your Angels, your Gods, your Goddesses,

your Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, and Fathers.

That you have abandoned, forsaken and betrayed.

These are the ones that are still willing

to show you the way

with patience, non-judgment

and LOVE.

We are one

We used to live in villages and knew everyone around us.

People with different viewpoints, different experiences and different knowledge.

You could have an intellectual debate and walk away feeling educated instead of bitter, resentful and not heard.

We could see through the eyes of those around us and understand.

We did not demean or degrade those that thought outside the norm.

We encouraged finding a new way.

Change keeps us from being stagnant, it allows us to grow.

Now we live in an indvidual family unit.

The extended family is relegated to reunions or set family visits.

We go to schools that teach us to compete and to look to others for acceptance instead of teaching us to look for it within.

We put our children that we do not understand into boxes with labels and keep them in a broken system that no serves them no use.

We have erased nature, our main ally from our lives and see it as a “weekend getaway” or something to own and possess.

We have lost our understanding of those around us due to selfish, egocentrical behaviour that is me, me, me and take, take, take until givers have absolutely nothing left to give.

We used to be united

As an Earth

As a Country

As a Community

As a Family

and within ourselves.

Yet as the World moves father away

It seems we are divided, at each others throats, unable to see any way but our own.

Fear has been a mitigating factor

Fear of Failure

Fear of Change

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of other Cultures

We were not meant to be stuck in one way,

repeating the cycles of 5125 years.

We are to end the division

Stop being afraid

Accept the change

and come together in Unity.

All colours, all races, all genders, all religions/faiths, all creeds.

We are all one

We are all children of the same Universe

We all inhabit our Mother the Earth that provides for us.

We were all meant to learn from one another.

Not tear each other apart for being different.

We have different knowledge, different experiences, different attitudes

yet we are all Spirits having a human existence here.



I was strong enough to survive my grandfather thinking I was an object for his pleasure.
I was strong enough to survive my alcohol mother who eventually got sober.
I was strong enough to survive losing my virginity being raped in sea cadets.
I was strong enough to survive moving out on my own and still receive my high school diploma.
I was strong enough to survive joining the Military, being charged for speaking out about being raped and losing my career.
I was strong enough to survive 3 abusive husbands, the beatings that came with them, and countless horrible men who saw me as nothing more than a conquest.
I was strong enough to survive raising my 2 Sons as well as some of their friends even though it cost me my sanity at times.
I was strong enough to survive speaking out publicly about sexual abuse in the military and the aftermath that occurred at a time where it was unspoken of and you were supposed to just be quiet.
I was strong enough to survive going to University full time while working full time and raising my boys.
I was strong enough to survive keeping a roof over my families head no matter the cost to my Soul.
I was strong enough to survive the many suicide attempts and my scars have become reminders that I have lived and are being replaced with beautiful tattoos.
I was strong enough to survive leaving my home and the only place that ever felt safe to me and find a new family and place to belong.
I was strong enough to survive the constant feelings of abandonment and betrayal and turn them into a purpose.
I was strong enough to survive anything that was thrown at me and it has made me realize that no matter what may come I will always be strong enough to survive.

True Confessions #2

The Blame Game. From a very young age I was conditioned I was the problem., that there was something wrong with me. This was reinforced as I got older and after various healing modalities I have discovered the shame and guilt I have felt for being a “bad person,” that made me feel like I should apologize for existing was not for me to carry. I was stronger than any of them thought possible because I was resilient. Society (Family, Organizations, Systems) could knock me down but I keep getting back up. This is because deep in my heart despite what everyone said I knew I was right, I knew it wasn’t my fault and I had a struggle between my brain and my heart. I discovered I was normal for me. I just needed to listen to the part of myself that had my best intentions at heart with the utmost compassion to see that I made everyone uncomfortable so they tried to control and conform me, however I am a Renegade that is a free Spirit, never meant to be tamed and I will continue to draw strength from my adversity and promote that positive change is possible because everything happened for me not to me.

Please check out the video that is linked.


End the Stigma~Part One

So many people judge what they cannot see and what they do not know. They react to someone with disdain or sarcasm without knowing one thing about that person. These are the fake people who walk around thinking they are above others and have no compassion. If you see someone with an obvious disability you often feel compelled to assist in some way but what about people who have invisible injuries, like post traumatic stress injury, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes and many other things.
Stress takes its toll on everyone and some of these people are on their last legs and pretending really good so that others don’t worry about them or put them down.
Life is hard enough, before you judge, look down upon, talk shit or demean someone look in the mirror and think about what gives you the right, you don’t even know them.
To all my friends and family that life has knocked down for a bit, I want you to know I understand and you are never alone and I will never judge you, no matter what you have done. The past is the past. Positive change is possible. Keep your chin up. Stand Tall. Be proud and have a most excellent day.


Dollz By Dezign

A few months ago I had the pleasure of coming into contact with a beautiful Soul named Skully. An epic beauty on Facebook had seen some of my posts and reached out to me saying that she thought that Skully could use someone like me to be a writer for her. We connected and had way more in common than we could have ever thought and I checked out the amazing website she had created. It can be found at:

Skully knew that I was a writer and that I had isolated myself badly due to the abuse in my life (the agoraphobia did not help) and I think in some ways she wanted to help bring me out of my shell a bit because she saw potential. A potential I was only beginning to see. I had been writing for years but it was all on paper. The only writing I had on my laptop that I could send her was poetry or my 660 page book but I did not want to overwhelm the Woman, jesus I had just met her. Poetry wasn’t really what she was all about so I read some of the other blogs on her site and I set about writing my first piece for something other than school for her. She had inspired me and I would like to share the link.

Breaking Free… By Dawn Mcilmoyle

I found out that Skully had created an event for this summer and it is The World’s Largest All Female Burnout World Record Attempt on July 6, 2019 in Smith Falls, Ontario. She has been working hard promoting this event at various functions and gathering others to participate in this event while putting it all together. This is extremely comendable. The All Female Burnout is being sponsored by Pace Law Firm and Mary McGee AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee will be present at this event. I personally have had my M2 but let it expire and Skully inspired me to get it again so I can participate in this event and be a part of something bigger. If you are interested in this event I am putting a link to the Facebook Page that she has created. Check it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this

Peace, Friendship and Respect to All