Feature #6 – Rachel Lee Brown

What nation do you belong to? Anishinaabe – Ojibwe

Where is your home community? Rainy River First Nations/ Manitou Rapids Located in North Western Ontario but born & raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

What makes you happy and inspires you? My children- Kieran, Keeli & Kenzie, they’ve allowed me to be the woman I am today.. by allowing me to be their mom.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Making the decision to leave a good paying job to finish my Bachelor of Art degree & being a Sundancer.

What is an assumption or hurtful stereotype that has been said about you? 
Being a thief & being followed by floor walkers.

What is a racist remark that you’ve been called before? “Welfare Baby”, “Indian girl” or “Rubbie ol Indian”

What can non-Indigenous folks do to educate themselves and create meaningful change? Learn about Canada’s dark history and the relationship between First Nation and Euro Canadians. Also, treaty relationships & what that means.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self if you could? Stay in school!! Don’t let the judgment of others control how you see yourself, be proud of who you are.

Who is a role model you look up to and why? My older sister, Melissa, she basically taught me how to live…she taught me how to read and write at a young age, then how to be a mom and then encouraged me to go back to University despite my age. She inspires me to be the best version of myself.

You’re proud to be Indigenous because…? We’ve been here since the beginning of time & we’re still here despite all the ugliness of the past. We have such beautiful languages, traditions, there’s so much beauty in the relationship we have with the Earth and ourselves. Being Indigenous is my best feature.

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