They started as strangers and left as connected kin. That’s how OUTSaskatoon’s Indigenous and Cultural Projects Coordinator, Dakota Adams-Beavereye, describes the sixth annual OUT on the Land Campout.
For one weekend, an intergenerational group of Two Spirit, IndigiQueer, Trans and Queer Indigenous people spent time with traditional Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, on the land, in community and in ceremony with each other.
“Not only did I feel connected to my identity, but I felt connected to the land and to my late grandmother who lived on a trapline. I can’t wait for the next one,” says one camper. “It’s so important that Two Spirit youth have these opportunities to connect with Mother Earth and have access to inclusive ceremony,” agreed another camper.
Among RBC’s employee resource groups are RBC Pride and the Royal Eagles, which provide fellowship and community support to members as part of RBC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. For the last two years, these groups have sponsored four campers to participate as part of an employee-led and -fueled show of solidarity. “It is a privilege to support OUTSaskatoon and help create space for youth in our community where they can connect with culture and be their fully authentic selves,” shares RBC Pride Regional Co-Chair Nazaire Babych.
“Our two employee resource groups continue to come together each year to help fund young campers because we know the importance of belonging in each of us bringing the best of us to our communities,” shares Matt McGregor, Royal Eagles Regional Co-Chair. These two groups, in collaboration, brought people together at this cultural camp.
“The power we felt at the camp, the kinship and connection to the land, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before,” Adams-Beavereye remembers. They started as strangers and left as connected kin, with memories of their time together. Having arrived alone, they found new relationships in their safe space outdoors, OUT on the Land.
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