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  • Writer's pictureNina

A Look Back on the Past

Years ago, when asked about planning my future, I would respond with wanting to be a housewife and mom. When I started school I was asked again about planning my future and nothing changed, I would go to school, be a housewife and work on having children. Upon becoming pregnant in October 2019 I was asked, once again, about planning my future, to which my reply didn't change, with the exception that I would be adding another life to care for and that little life would accompany me to class.

I have been extremely fortunate that in my program, Indigenous Studies, I have met professors that welcomed the thought of having children in their classes. At the time of my pregnancy, I played it cool in the thought of bringing baby with me to class but secretly I was terrified that all my professors would have said NO! no children allowed in University.

We have spent time between classes sleeping on couches, office chairs, friends houses and even on cement benches outside the University, as many campuses are not child friendly. Diaper changes were done on the floor, on my lap, in the middle of class, wherever was convenient at the time, same goes for breast feeding. As the months went on, baby began making her rounds in class. Students were looking forward to having the opportunity to hold her during class and seeing her smile. Some had never even held a baby before, that made them holding her for the first time that much more exciting.

If I take anything away from my 2019/2020 year, is that there is tolerance in academia, it is possible to walk in two worlds. There is no reason why a parent can't bring their child to class/school, as there are many of us who worry about childcare and paying for said childcare which influences their decision to enter/stay in school. For those naysayers out there, yes there are boundaries to be respected in regards to being "disruptive" in class, classes that involve lab work, and having a safe place to nurse/change/nap with said children, but if one program can make the effort so can the rest.

If academia is capable of adapting and changing with the times then so are we, not only as Indigenous Peoples but as races of man as well. We can all hold on to our traditions, beliefs and ceremonies while working towards a sustainable future.

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