To experience the pipe ceremony with Alma was something that was quite special to me. I felt empowered as I was smoking the pipe and as Alma was talking to us about her culture. I never really understood the importance of pipe ceremonies to the Aboriginal culture. I think that by doing this it opened up my eyes to how important pipe ceremonies are. It is a sacred and spiritual act that allows us to connect ourselves to our earth. I really enjoy that I am able to participate in things like this because I think it allows me as a settler to become united with the Aboriginal culture. I also think that by learning and understanding these concepts is important because I can then take these ideas and pass them onto my students.
I also found the talk with Alma after the pipe ceremony particularly interesting as well. She explained to us the concept of moon time. I think I found this so interesting because in the culture that I grew up in, talking about a women time of month was frowned upon. It was something that wasn’t shared or talked about in my family because it has these negative connotations associated with it. I find it so interesting and enlightening that in some cultures, it is actually a sacred and important thing for women to be on their moon time. I like that Alma explained that when a women is on her moon time she is powerful. In my westernized culture, like mentioned before, a women menstruation is seen to be a privatized thing. I really enjoy that in the Aboriginal culture, it is something that you should not be ashamed of and is highly respected.
When doing the pipe ceremony, I think it did help me understand a bit more about my own miskasowin. It helped me be more aware of other cultures than my own. As a teacher, I constantly need to be embracing other cultures so that I can pass that information and culture onto my students. I like to take all the information that I learn and embrace it. I also think that learning this new information that Alma presented to me gave me a better sense of my own body and mind. I know that my culture is different than other cultures and thats okay. What is important is that I respect other cultures than my own and try to acknowledge that students are all different and have different beliefs.