Growing up in a family of mixed heritages, I witnessed first hand the affects racism had on my mother and grandmother. When I was young it was awkward at times and I didn’t understand the underlying issues. I developed a desire to help and bring positive change through these life experiences.
I was very close to my grandmother in my childhood. Her value system and culture was important to me as I knew how much she loved me. Dad also encouraged me in my Native heritage and every summer I received new Moose wrap moccasins and was taught wood lore and how to identify sign and track wild game. Dad was himself orphaned and he was very at home in nature and was a great woodsman. Which was beneficial to his work as a field geologist at a time when geological exploration was still done on pack horse, by canoe and on foot. He taught me much of the First Nations way as he strongly identified with it.
I felt very at home when I was in the woods. Deep in the wilderness with the wolf, elk, lion and bear seemed like the best place for me.