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Walking With Our Sisters Is A Path to Healing

The guide, a petite Aboriginal Elder with gentle eyes, lifted a beaded blanket off the back of a chair and draped it over my shoulders. Its stitching read, “We Walk With Our Sisters.”

“Here,” she said. “Wear this as you walk through.” It was a healing blanket, intended to make anyone who was overwhelmed feel safe and protected. The blanket was heavy on my shoulders and yet it somehow also lifted a weight off my body.

Let me back this story up. I was at the MSVU Art Gallery today experiencing Walking With Our Sisters, an exhibit touring Canada and at Mount Saint Vincent University until Feb. 1. It commemorates missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit people and their families.

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Finding balance in the year that was and into the future

It’s easy to write off 2016 as a crummy year. Sure, lots of unsettling things happened in the world-at-large that challenged our values. Almost in response, many people’s personal circumstances also took a beating this year — including my own. But here I am at the end of 2016, still breathing like you, reflecting on the delights this year also contained. Yes, it was messy, amusing, frustrating, exciting, worrisome, joyful, painful, exciting, grievous, beautiful and creative. Some highlights:

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Dear HRM, Please Save Blue Mountain-Birch Cove

Submissions regarding development in the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lake area are due by 3 p.m. today. Please write to Below is my letter. You have my permission to echo it or borrow sentences when crafting your own.

Dear HRM and Councillor Russell Walker,

I am writing to urge you to protect Blue Mountain–Birch Cove as a designated wilderness area and reject proposals to develop any portion of this pristine, important, wilderness oasis in our city.

We do not need another subdivision as badly as we need the woods, lakes, and watersheds in BM-BC. I implore you to protect this biodiversity. Green infrastructure is a worthy investment. It is our access to rugged, natural landscapes that was a primary driver for my family’s move back to Halifax from Toronto nine years ago. Since then, we’ve visited BM-BC regularly as a family. Along with our children, we’ve hiked it extensively in all seasons, and swam and kayaked on its lakes in the summer.

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I Stand With Avalon & Support Survivors of Sexual Abuse 

Last summer I joined the board at the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax.

I wanted to help Avalon continue its important advocacy work around prevention, healing and empowerment. I was ready to work hard to try and make a difference. It’s not been easy, but neither is anything worth doing.

Much has happened in these eight months.

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There's a long road ahead for this writer — and that's ok

I had an uncomfortable moment yesterday in the writing class I’m taking. I realized I am, at best, an intermediate writer. This is not false modesty. Yes, I know some things about writing. I’m published. I make a small income through my writing and people tell me they enjoy it or it makes them think. Those rewards are fantastic but they may have fooled me into thinking I know more than I actually do. There is WAY more yet to learn, and so much practice ahead.

And guess what? That’s ok.

I also know as an educator that you need to have those uncomfortable or “transformative” moments that challenge your assumptions

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