June is National Indigenous History Month. As part of our celebration, we’re featuring the perspectives of Georgian students and employees of Indigenous ancestry all month long.
What’s your story?
The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.
People of Georgian: Meet Beedahsiga Elliott
On Friday nights, my dad would make a pot of chili. That was his favourite thing to do.
This morning – even though it was hot out – I had thoughts of my family, so I decided, “You know what? I’m going to make a pot of chili.”
Family is very important to me.
Your family is what makes you who you are, so to have that family structure, to have that family around you to love you, support you, take care of you, to always have your back, that’s such a big deal for Indigenous folks.
For the Anishnawbe particularly, knowing who you are and having family around you – it’s so important.
Thinking back to the past year and a half, being separated from our families… It’s been hard, it’s been really hard for people who depend on family.
I’m the oldest in a family with four siblings. We’re pretty tight.
We still communicate with one another and send each other texts and memes and have chats, but that doesn’t beat sitting together and laughing and carrying on.
Stuff gets lost in translation when you can’t speak at the same time.
I was just talking to my sister about it. We were thinking of having a big celebration this summer if we can.
Family is one of the things that are an important staple to having a good life, what we call Mino Bimaadiziwin. The good life.
‘This is your clan, this is where you’re from, and this is who you are’
I know a few Anishnawbe words, a few phrases, but the important thing I know is how to introduce myself.
I would say: Beedahsiga Elliott indizhnikaaz. Neyaashiinigmiing ndoonjibaa. Mooze Doodem. Anishnawbe ndow.
What I said is, “My name is Beedahsiga. I come from Cape Croker First Nation (a.k.a. The Land of the Handsome), my clan is Moose, and my nation is Anishnawbe (The Good People).”
What that tells other people is I know where I’m from, I know my family or my clan, and I know my language.
Your family is what makes you who you are.
Beedahsiga Elliott, Events Coordinator with Georgian’s Indigenous Services
Having just that brief introduction gives a fellow Indigenous person basically everything they need to know about me, which is truly amazing.
It’s also what we teach our children: this is your clan, this is where you’re from, and this is who you are.
Beedahsiga Elliott, Events Coordinator with Georgian’s Indigenous Services. Beedahsiga is also a three-time Georgian alumnus: General Arts and Sciences (class of 2011), Advertising (class of 2013), and Event Management (class of 2014).
Want to share your story? Please contact [email protected].