This week, we welcome Clan Mother Jamie Goulet to the Humans on Rights podcast. Jamie is a co-founder of Clan Mothers Healing Village, a beautiful lodge whose mission is to help women and girls with an array of different issues, from environmental issues to human trafficking and sex slavery and so much more. As they expanded, they took on the name Clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre to honour the mission of carrying on knowledge of elders and the stories of those who pass through the lodge.
As Jamie says on the Clan Mother website, “Indigenous women are reclaiming their strength through an inherent original design in a modern world, by developing holistic solutions. By creating this Healing Village, we fully intend to support and help replicate this model for Indigenous communities across the country.”
This podcast was recorded on the ancestral lands on Treaty One territory, the traditional territory of the Anishnawbe, Cree, Oji Cree, Dakota, and the Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis nation.
This is Humans, On Rights. A podcast advocating for the education of human rights.
Here's your host Stuart Murray.
Jamie Goulet is a passionate entrepreneur and an independent forward thinker, particularly on innovative and healing concepts having to do with the empowerment and reverence for indigenous women.
Jamie Goulet is the owner/operator of Grandmother Moon Lodge, an indigenous women's land based healing and educational village.
Jamie is Ojibway/Metis.
She's an artist in many mediums, drum carrier, pipe carrier and large leader.
And today she joins me in conversation on humans on rights.
Well, hello, Stuart.
I'm happy to be here.
Jamie, tell me a little bit about your background.
First and foremost the fact that you are an Ojibway/Metis, that's part of your family.
Tell me about that.
Well, I suppose I'd have to start with saying I came out of my mother's womb and my mother and my grandfather and grandmother on her side are originally from water head and they were both.
Soto actually, is what they would have been called and Ojibwe and so too are the same thing now in saying that, apparently it's a derogatory term.
And what I can tell you is, you tell my old Auntie Maggie that, and she would say, I'm so d I'm not saying Oh, Jibali, I'm Saudi.
There's some political aspects in there, and my father actually is from Quebec.
My father was a Frenchman who left his village in Quebec, and he came here of 17 Children.
He was 14, and he came up north and met my mother in kissing Lake, where they lived as trappers.
And he worked in a mind that was very close to that location, and as a result, I was birthed out of my mother's room, and we didn't know much about his background.
But we certainly were raised with my aunties.
And on my mother's side, who is also Ojibwe and Jamie, where would you have, whether it's traditional or indigenous education, where did you get your education?
That has brought you to what We're obviously going to talk about this whole clan mothers healing village.
But How did you get there?
You know, it was a long traumatic history, actually.
And as many folks my age would have said that, including my own mother.
So again, in our communities in our northern communities where I was birthed, I was actually birthed in the Palm, Manitoba.
That's where I was birth and and that's the region Cranberry, portage and kissing lake.
That's where we grew up.
So in saying that I came to understanding what was traditional on our side was trapping and fishing and knowledge because so much of our cultural traditions were taken away already at that time.
So in learning that so many of us have come back home and found our original ways of being and it's a blood memory and we've connected to those original ways of being and associated and have been lucky enough to reclaim the goodness and the balance of our culture, because in my family it was no different than anybody else that I know or have worked with over the 25 years we've been doing this work, that there was much alcoholism which has turned into massive drug abuse, and so I've lost a lot of nieces and nephews to drugs and alcohol, and so that that part of our culture, if you want to talk about traditional knowledge, that's what we had to walk through.
And that's what we were given as young people when we were growing up.
And we've had to acknowledge a coming back a returning to So that's what I can tell you about understanding who we are.
And a lot of it has come from our elders that are still alive today that can give us that knowledge.
And Jamie just put in perspective a bit.
What age would you have been when you started to have this realisation about the blood memories that you spoke of and the importance of that?
Because when I go on to your website and the clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre, you know there's so much great information on there.
So, of course, for listeners, we're going to ensure that all of your social channels are available because there's some wonderful, wonderful information.
But I took away from that.
The importance of that understanding, as you say, going back to that tradition, and that is something that you internally have to understand and recognise before you can get there.
Tell me, how did that happen for you?
Well, for myself.
Personally, I can't speak for any other of my siblings who have also suffered alcoholism.
I would say that when you when you burst into a family that has suffered so much because the actual culture and the goodness and the balance and the harmony was somehow skewed by alcoholism, a lot of violence and abuse within families, to my aunties and all of that how you come back to it as well.
In a natural fact, how we came back was through through my mother because my mother, I would say I was only about in my twenties at that time when she said, That's it.
We've got to go back to our earth based spirituality, the roots of who we are as a people.
And she started to, and not all of my siblings came along for that ride.
But I did.
I did, because I knew that the suffering had brought us there.
I knew that in our family things had to change.
I knew that in my cousins families, things have to change.
I mean, we've lost a lot of relatives, a lot of relatives on the street, not through your bloodline relatives, but relatives in general, in our communities.
So in saying that, that's that's where things started to change.
We started to say, We've got to go back to the land.
We've got to start healing.
We have to resurrect the information from our the matrimonial indigenous knowledge and sharing.
And we've worked very hard to do that.
Over the last 25 years, we've worked extremely hard to bring back that balance in that knowledge of full traditional values.
So, Jamie, when your mother, you know, sort of had the conversation or however you know, she and her way brought you along for that part of the journey.
That's incredible leadership in an environment.
I'm sure that was very, very difficult.
And that sounds like your mother was quite a remarkable woman.
She indeed is, and is she still alive today?
Jamie, She is.
She's 88 years old and going strong.
She is the co founder of Clan Mothers Healing Village Knowledge Centre.
It has been through her vision that we were able to seek a stronger ground to stand on as indigenous women coming together and resurrecting those values that through colonisation were also lost.
And for your mother and for you and for some of the other plan mothers Jamie and some of the other elders that are part of this process, we're going to talk about where you are today, and you've established a tremendous amount over this time.
But if you're able to share at the very beginning some of the challenges that it would be to try to change people's sort of, I'll just say traditional thinking from a colonisation perspective to the Earth and all of those elements that are so important that you talk about with respect to healing.
What were some of those challenges like?
Well, the challenges were even at the beginning.
I remember, and I can only speak through, you know, an indigenous matrimonial knowledge sharing space, because that's what we've been working so hard on.
We have multiple traditions and multiple communities and multiple different tribal affiliations and ways of working and doing things.
But we have something in common, all of us, and I think some of the challenges, even in our own communities, have been, you know, when they colonised here They did a really good job of making exempt the matrimonial knowledge, the original governance systems that are people worked under which were, which were female Earth mother based.
So those were the challenges.
I would say that we would meet with the chiefs.
We would meet.
We would have men you know there would be disdained towards it because they have forgotten that our original ways were through the womb of a mother and to the grandmother into the mother Earth.
That's how creation started.
And so those were some of the challenges we had.
We worked very hard to bring the voice of our female elders forward because up till that point, we mostly would hear from our male elders, and that's fine.
But there is a piece of the knowledge, a piece of the balance that was missing and those were the challenges in saying that there seems to be a fear of having the female entity, the female, the sacred female voice come up and have knowledge, have original thoughts of governance, have original knowledge of of land, have original knowledge of bringing communities and families together.
So that probably was a bit of a challenge How is it that you were able to advance that discussion or that journey or those kind of you mentioned the I think indigenous matrilineal concepts talk a little bit about that and how you advance that.
Well, the truth.
You know, the truth in our culture is that's how we we came to be.
And it's also related to the Earth Mother and the Earth Mother.
If you know if it wasn't for her, none of us would be alive.
You know, the world as we know it today would not be alive.
So original indigenous values and knowledge.
Everything came from Earth Mother, creator of all and that we've lost.
And it's been lost for so many years that it's been complicated when they talk about decolonisation.
It is a de colonising as well, if we want balance to come back to any community or the entire Earth, indigenous values or what is going to bring the balance back because everything was in creation came from the mother, the earth based natural knowledge, and our men knew that and never questioned it.
And so when you talk about those challenges, that would be the challenge is we could very easily give up on this very easily give up on this.
But as many of our female elders and male elders have said, as long as our women are not taking back their rightful place as leaders and spiritual leaders in our communities, nothing change in our communities.
So when you work through this whole process and started the clan mothers healing village, you've done some amazing work clearly for the past number of years.
You talk about sort of the opportunity and the difference, and I want to get into this whole purpose.
Jamie, about this social enterprise that you've been working on.
Can you share your thoughts of how that developed as a concept from the clan mothers Healing village?
Well, the social enterprise part is a kind of de colonising as well.
It does break down.
That hierarchy system is that when you have a social enterprise is an original indigenous concept and it's taking care of the village taking care of all peoples in the village that there isn't a hierarchy there.
So, for example, when we're working together and we're developing these social enterprises, one of the first ones we're developing is an indigenous women's building company.
And so when our women come in, we need them to have a physical process because it's it's part of the healing journey.
And so that is why a lot of the emphasis is around the holistic values of our villages.
Ancestor Lee would have been everybody brought a gift to the table.
And so in saying that social enterprises model will definitely occupy that void in what's happening in a lot of therapies.
Western style therapies will help women really connect to the land as far as building, and we have many other enterprise models as well medicines.
We have art and activism, so there's many different social enterprise models.
But it is.
It takes care of the village, and we're trying to replicate, you know, the knowledge of our original villages in the 21st century.
Is there a financial element to you know, the term social enterprise, or is it more directed at more of a healing process?
I guess the original values would have been not commerce, but in a modern context.
Right now, of course, we are hoping that we can, at some point along clan mothers that we can end you know the asking, asking for the financial aid, that we actually have enough human energy to come together in the village and run a village like it would have been ancestral e in a modern context.
And so there is there will be a financial or economic spiritual economic component to it and that be that we're truly self sustaining.
We can come together as a people sit in our village and come up and always have all the elements around us in the human content and so that the village runs in a good way that nobody is left so that the most vulnerable in our communities are taken care of first.
That is all a part of social enterprise.
You don't build a village, you build a village together and women will be already.
We're running starting to run the programme and they'll be ready to build the village.
You know, along with obviously we need to have builders there as well.
So in saying that it's a holistic model of the village that we're trying to return to, and if we can our own governance system, even within that we have worked on it over a year and a half already and that will be implemented.
It's around the information and the knowledge that we've been extracting from our elders on how a village should be run.
So we've been working on that for quite a while.
And it is again through matrilineal, the clan mothers, the grandmothers advisory councils that were here before us, that nothing would have happened in a community or a village without their approval.
I just heard something the other day.
It was about policing and one of the communities, and it said they said what they're starting to do now.
And we were just so overjoyed when we heard this that in some of the communities, they're starting to put a police hat on some of our female elders because our, the youth and all the people in the community have such reverence for them that it has stopped crime in the community is incredibly amazing.
Thanks for sharing that, Jamie.
One of the things that you reference and I heard you in a presentation you made and you referenced the term village a lot.
And you talk about the clan mothers healing village.
And you've talked about going back to sort of what that village was.
Why is the Term village important to you in this context?
Well, you know, again, we are in the 21st century and we're trying to resurrect information and to put it in a context, to say we're just another organisation or agency for a group of people or an addictions home Or, you know, a treatment house or a group home and all of these terms that have been labelled on indigenous people forever.
It doesn't say what needs to be said in a village.
You know that saying that has come out of men and indigenous villages.
It takes a village to raise a child.
We're birthing something.
Now we're birthing something that could help people so much that we need to call in a village.
There is no other name for we.
We won't use terms like a treatment house or an addiction centre or a group.
That language has got to stop.
You know, when we have our people coming in and they've been so hurt and so traumatised in their life, they are beautiful exactly where they are walking in that or they are just perfect.
Exactly where they are because that's all they are inside.
It's like any other human being.
What you have and don't have doesn't matter at that point.
It doesn't matter.
It's who you are, that spirit, that soul inside that person.
And that's where we're working.
So Jamie, who would be some of the women young women, maybe elders, etcetera, who would be people that you would be reaching out to or providing that safe place for people to come?
Who are some of these women?
What is their background?
There are women who were birthed into a system that already has hundreds of years of oppression and colonisation.
There are women who believe that who they are today is all they are, which is not true, You know, in Western society has labelled them so it's just been painful, how they've been labelled, and so those are going to be the women that come in, You know, in our community, we say we help the most vulnerable first.
That's what we do, and that's what we're going to do.
So those who simply had a difficult time and have had a systemic history of colonisation, beating them down and we still are in it today.
It's still happening today.
That's the question.
I think it has to be asked to every human being why our indigenous people, indigenous women, still suffering so much today, you know, the churches couldn't help them.
You know everybody who's trying to help.
It's not working, and that's why it's so important for us to go back to the very roots of what's what's changed into us.
The missing link is the eradication of our indigenous matrimonial wisdom.
You know, that's the balance that our communities need back right now.
They need the loving mother centred societies that our ancestors developed for us and the science and all of that.
Jamie, just a couple of other sort of thoughts from you around this when you talk about sort of taking back or coming to the land, you know, the land obviously is very important from your perspective, from an indigenous matrilineal perspective.
What is the value of the land?
How do you bring that into the healing process?
My goodness, that's loaded that one.
The land is everything.
And I said as I started this off, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for mother earth through the sacredness of her being giving us breath from the trees.
You know, the knowledge of our food, our food, sovereignty and security has been so damaged, and we know how to bring that back.
And so you know what I What I could say to that is it's everything.
She's everything to everybody, including yourself.
There is nothing we can do without Mother Earth when I think of how ravaged she's been, the oil extraction, the resource extraction companies, how they've taken from her and taken from her and literally ravaged her and raped her and selling as a commodity.
I mean, these are values that don't belong in indigenous worldviews.
They do not belong there, and it's not how we feel.
And we need more models like grandmothers, healing village and knowledge centre.
We need more models that have the first of all.
It has to go right now to the governance systems that are implemented into every village.
That's what I'm going to call them and you can see a community organisation but everything until we can get to the root concert, that and change it internally.
That's what we have to do and that's how important this is.
And it doesn't matter if people say it's not about male and female.
It's not even about gender issues at all.
What it's about is truth, and it's about the trees and it's about our animals, and it's about our waters and it's about the oceans.
It's about all of that.
And we all know we've been talking about this for decades now that if things don't change, we're losing our very source of life, which is Mother earth.
As you say, it's a can see.
It's a very loaded question, but thank you so much for the explanation.
Jamie, when you hear the word because it's become sort of now, talked a fair bit about decolonisation When you hear that word, what does that mean to you for a you know, an indigenous woman who is going through this whole process of this healing and you hear all of these at some point, we're in a society where you've got to put a name on something, you know, and it just because then that means that you can put a name to something you don't necessarily have to discuss it.
You can just have the name there, so people just breathe through the word decolonisation to get to another comment.
But when you hear the word decolonisation, what does that mean to you?
Wipe away everything and go to the roots of mother?
That's all I can keep saying.
It means bringing a balance that has been eradicated from all of society and bring back your grandmother's.
Bring back those who have the wisdom and the knowledge about raising communities and families, developing communities, developing social enterprises.
In my view, it sounds completely erratic, you know.
But the truth is that the government's our province here, and we've talked to them about it.
Should have a grandmother's council until we start to resurrect those values again.
You know, that's how important it is to us and doing this.
And though our values, Earth based spirituality and our values are good for all peoples, all peoples will benefit from understanding that before you make decisions that could possibly hurt people or crush people or bomb people.
Go to your grandmother councils, your clan mothers systems because they're in everybody's everybody's history.
Things changed when man made religion came into power, But all peoples, even in yours.
If you go back far enough, you will have earth based values that your people's acknowledged and followed.
The world has changed.
Mother Earth is still here.
That same grandmother Moon that we see on those beautiful full moons is still here.
It's the same one that saw all of humanity developed and as well as his grandfather's son.
So those are indigenous worldviews.
Those are indigenous values.
And when we can walk gently and understand that when you get up in the morning, it's not just into the corporate office or wherever you work, we have to start acknowledging as human beings where we all come from.
Is it fair enough for me to ask this question, Jamie, From your perspective, we've had for our kind of our first national day of recognition around truth and reconciliation was the first Canadian day to stop and understand or try to learn about that when you think about that process or that day or that conversation?
Or how do you see that if you do on the education element of the relationship around, what Mother clan or what clan mothers?
I'm sorry healing is trying to do.
Do you see that as part of it of truth and reconciliation.
I think that the words have to be action ised.
You know, we need to those of us that are in situations that can develop new models of being right down to the internal governance systems.
I think only then will we see.
I think it's a wonderful people are being educated through the TRC.
There's been so many changes, you know, with Mayor Bowman, the signing of the reconciliation and there's been so many things happening.
But I think it's so hard for people to understand a new way forward are not really a new way.
But as I always said, you know, the our ancestors had something that needs to come back now.
It needs to come back because our world has gone so far under patriarchal rule that there's been much damage now, particularly lately with the covid and our elders say that's a sign for people and then with the war now it's been a hard goal the last two years and I think that in saying that we should all understand that whatever we can do and anything that anybody has any leadership in that we soften the path forward, we soften the path forward and we stopped thinking about economics and finances.
I know we have.
We, too, have to acknowledge that.
But we have to acknowledge it with different teachings in our heart.
You know that we're here to help each other.
We're here to help each other move forward and to change things.
And change takes a long time.
But it is happening.
I appreciate you bringing that, you know, sort of around to a point of view when you when you look at some of the challenges.
I mean, there's so much work to be done.
But to note that, at least there's some change that is happening, that is, that is positive.
And I want to just get into one of the other reasons I wanted to chat with you.
Jamie, is that your now involved with community members and elders developing a large scale, sustainable, eco centred healing and educational village?
It's You've got about 130 acres.
I gather that you have been able to secure and you're in the process.
Tell us about that project and how that's coming along well, it's very, very exciting and I'm just so happy to be a part of it because it's coming along just fine and we have so much ally ship connected to the project as well.
We've got wonderful.
There's so many people out there that that desire to see this internal change in this internal village model come into full fruition.
And so in saying that we have wonderful ally ship, we have incredible our elders Council has such strong voice and determination in this happening to and so it's a passion.
I think of so many of us and we're lucky enough to have drawn people to the concepts that we're sharing.
And the people that are coming together with us really, really understand that some change will come out of this and also understand the only way that this can happen is because it's indigenous led and its female elder lead as well.
So in saying that there's just wonderful things happening and we're putting shovel to ground now and we've had some demolition done already and we'll start building through this spring, summer and fall into next year and we're hoping to be open in the fall of 2023 all of 2023.
And that is a place Jamie that will welcome women from all throughout Manitoba.
Or is it open to any woman who's looking for healing to come?
Or how will you sort of get a sense of who the women are and where they might come from?
Well, we're very well connected.
We've been working for 25 years and indigenous led organisations in the city and anything that has to do with indigenous lead agencies.
And so we're very well connected through Justice and Child and Family Services and all those.
We've been doing this for quite a while.
So we have built relationships throughout the years with all the communities as well.
And so we're well connected there.
And we're just It's just a matter of laying down our resources and yeah, so, yes, it will be open to everybody in Manitoba and also across Canada.
It will be a replicable model because of the different systems internal operational systems will be using.
And so therefore we're wanting to share because that's what we do as indigenous people.
We're not building this for any individuals.
Specifically, it shared knowledge that once were fully operational.
We've created this indigenous village model that consists of community living and healing and knowledge sharing and programming, surrounded by that system of social enterprise and having people you know, getting so many gifts that our our women have that are yet to be used.
And so we want to just sort of ignite that passion in them and then just build off that and then share the knowledge.
So the knowledge centre, part of the climb, others healing Village is a location that we will constantly have.
Ceremonies and workshops and gatherings and sharing of knowledge and information and inviting people from across Canada and internationally that are working with vulnerable women and that need care and help and just designing it with a different philosophy and understanding behind it, so that we can go beyond the group homes and the addiction centres.
There's so much more to people that are vulnerable and have experienced indigenous collective trauma.
I can't thank you enough for spending some time with me to let me get to know you a little bit better.
Get to know what the clan mothers healing village is all about.
Thank you for sharing that with me today and for those that will listen to this.
You wrote a poem.
I don't know if it's a poem and I apologise.
That's my word.
You might want to say It's not It's just words, but they're your words and they're beautiful words and I'm going to thank you for your time.
Jamie Gully, I wish you all the success.
I look forward to many more opportunities to learn and share from you.
But I'm going to ask you please, to close this issue of humans on rights with the words that you wrote.
And I'll leave that to you.
Thank you very much, very.
Our peoples have been colonised, researched to death.
Still no answers from a dominant system exempt from indigenous knowledge, loss of language, loss of identity, loss of cultural and spiritual values.
We are the keepers of our own pathway.
Home cloud Mothers return humans on Rights is recorded and hosted by Stuart Murray Social Media Marketing by the Creative Team at Full current and Winnipeg Thanks also to Trixie.
Maybe you in music by Doug Edmund.
For more go to human rights hub dot C A produced and distributed by the sound off media company.
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