Country of Origin:
Human Rights & Social Justice, Aboriginal Issues, Racism/Discrimination, Racism/Discrimination, Aboriginal Issues, Human Rights & Social Justice
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Jana talks about her story as a Metis, stemming from her own mother's story of life and heritage.
My full name is Jana Starla Betty La Rose.
I identify myself as a Metis, and… that started from my grandfather’s side. My mum…
her mother is an Aboriginal. Her last name is Okiwihau, and her husband is a French man, and his last name is La Rose, so that’s how we got our last name; and I guess I could identify myself as full Aboriginal, um, but I just identify as Metis.
I do have a story I want to tell..
My mother’s story: My mother just passed away this past October, of last year; it’s more her life and how her life had an impact on mine and my siblings’ lives. And she was born in Regina Saskatchewan and she was raised here for most of her life. And though she didn’t know much about her background because she was taken from her parents at an early age of three years old and raised in the foster care of white people, if I can say that. So, she didn’t know much about her culture until she was about 16 or 17. And she had all of her children at a young age, so my story is going to reflect on my mum’s past and future and myself and my siblings’ life and how her life had a great impact on our upbringing.
My mum - because she also had HIV for about 20 years, um, she went to different seminars and talking circles and groups and tried to reach out to Aboriginal youth and other Aboriginal adults; and I’ve heard the story over and over and she always used to say to us, “I could write a book about my life, and how interesting it would be, and how people would know how we, as Aboriginal people, as Metis people, were treated back then and even now.” And she always said that but she never really – she got to tell parts of her life, her story, but she never really got to write a story, or write a book; so I just feel like I would be carrying on what she would’ve wanted.