An Unforgettable Moment - Indigenous Box

An Unforgettable Moment

It was not that long ago, when our people were not welcomed in institutions like this (post secondary institutions) and here I stand, the beneficiary of generations of resilience and resistance. 

I am the first generation of my family that was not forced to attend residential schools. I know my place and my responsibility to see through the creation of a different world where future generations can thrive.   

Returning to MacEwan represents a great acknowledgement for the work myself and my team do at Indigenous Box. Our intentions were, and still are to be caretakers of products, helpers in commerce and builders in the Indigenous supply chain. The last three years have been remarkable and a part of my journey that I will cherish for my whole life. 

This week, I was invited to return to MacEwan Convocation for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to deliver the convocation address. In my speech, which you can find here (37:30) I shared two stories; the first was about my upbringing and my childhood filled with a different kind of abundance and the second was this story from my husband about his time with my grandfather. 

My Co-Founder and husband Kham is the descendant of immigrants to Canada, his family comes from England, Germany, and The Shan State in what is now known as Myanmar. When I first took Kham home to meet my family, 20 years ago, my dad, true to his nature, took him hunting. In no time they got a moose and brought it home. The next morning after working late into the night cleaning and butchering the animal, my dad took Kham to meet my late mosum wapatu…my dad’s mentor and long time hunting partner…who was going to help them dry the meat. My mosum wapatu was an amazing man with great skill, perseverance and conviction. Together they built a smoke house and got to the task of slicing meat and butchering the remaining carcass. As they were working  Kham, an experienced cook, got stuck trying to cut through the breast bone of the animal, to separate the ribs, with my mosum’s hunting knife. Seeing his frustration my mosum wapatu told him how to do it “you have to find the exact right spot and then the knife will cut through very easily, adding “there's always a way, if you believe there is”. Then he told …How he survived for months alone on a remote trapline, in the dead of winter after shattering his femur in an accident. My mosum looked at him and said it again with even more emphasis: “If you think you can, then you can.”  My husband tried again, and this time the knife found the spot and slid along the breastbone like butter. 

A simple but powerful message that embodies the heartbeat of Indigenous Box.

I am deeply honoured to receive the MacEwan Distinguished Alumni Award. Thank you to MacEwan University Alumni Association, Board of Governors and to the faculty and staff for this great honour. 

 

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