tansi! kitatamskatinawaw kahkiyaw! Greetings to all!
Happy National Indigenous History Month! We are honoured to be a part of this special edition of YMM Magazine that celebrates the stories, culture, and successes of the original peoples of this land known as nistawâyâw – ełídlį kuę́ – Fort McMurray.
We are proud to call this region our ancestral home. We see our Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Great Great Grandparents and beyond in all parts of this land. It reminds us of who we are as a people. It reminds us that we belong somewhere. It reminds us of the beauty of our culture that survives and thrives today, and we hope for many generations to come.
When we were approached by the Bouchier family to be a part of this special edition, we knew we had a responsibility to ensure our truths were told here. That the pages of this magazine would reflect the people who had a deep ancestral connection to this land and so that the true history was told. It is our responsibility to honour their voices so that our community remembers that although this region is home to many visitors, it has been stewarded for thousands of years in the past and will be for thousands of years forward by the Dene & Cree peoples.
National Indigenous History Month is our collective story. The truths – some deeply beautiful, some deeply painful – are what weaves us all together. Like the name of our local college, kiyânaw, this history is yours, mine, and ours. So, we must acknowledge it, sit with it and honour it so that we may move forward together in a good way.
We hope you enjoy this edition of YMM Magazine and that it pushes you to reach outward to learn more about the beautiful people and the true history of this land, but that it also pushes you inward – into your heart, mind, and spirit – to seek to understand the connection between us all.
ekosi pitâma – that’s all for now. Take care.
Jes Croucher & Allison Flett