I’m honoured to write this letter from the editor of the second Indigenous Wood Buffalo edition of Your McMurray Magazine.
Following our inaugural edition last June, we immediately felt that it would be something we would love for the team at Balsom Communications to continue to support.
I would like to thank Jes Croucher and Allison Flett for once again taking the lead as guest editors and curating this magazine filled with wonderful stories and teachings. The theme for this edition is cultural reclamation, and the stories within these pages are focused on how the Indigenous communities are working together to revive traditional languages, practices and values that are deeply rooted in the lands of Treaty 8.
For me, I am honoured to write this while residing on Treaty 8 land. I went to high school and now own and operate a business within Fort McMurray on Treaty 8 Territory. This would not be possible without the Treaty, and I am grateful. I believe that we owe our economic prosperity to the Treaty 8 Nations. I feel firmly rooted in this region, its people, and its lands and I am proud to call Fort McMurray my home.
While I now attend University on Treaty 6 land in Saskatoon, where I am learning how common law and Aboriginal and Indigenous laws can intersect and work together to create a better future for all peoples in Canada. Through Elders and Indigenous professors, I am learning how we can reclaim culture within our legal system and the devastating effect colonial legal systems have had on Indigenous peoples.
I feel fortunate that projects such as this edition of YMM allow me to continue to learn and speak with Elders and knowledge-keepers about how I can be a better partner in reconciliation and share cultural practices with readers from around our region.
The team at Your McMurray Magazine and Balsom would like to encourage you to read this edition with an open heart and take your next steps on the path to reconciliation – whatever that might look like. Thank you to every single contributor, partner, artist, and writer who helped make this edition possible under the leadership of Jes and Allison. A special thank you to the Elders who have shared their teachings and wisdom with us on these pages and as part of this project.
I encourage you to learn more about the beautiful Indigenous cultures in the region and support the work being done by so many to ensure that the rich culture is passed along and shared. I can only hope that our team’s work helps a little on the path to cultural reclamation in the region.
Reach out anytime!
You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or ideas for future story ideas or feedback.
About the author
Born and raised on Random Island, Newfoundland, Krista Balsom grew up dreaming big. Moving to Fort McMurray in 2001 and attending Westwood Community High School and Keyano College before heading to the University of Ottawa to study political science and then public relations at Algonquin College, Krista returned in 2009 after working on Parliament Hill as a legislative assistant, to work and put down further roots in Fort McMurray.