Through diversity, the world is made more beautiful, complex, abundant and resilient. And so it is with the diversity of our stories and our ways of being in and of this world. It is a privilege for me to work with your authentic self and I will strive to be guided by my sensitivity to your wholeness – mental, emotional, physical, social, cultural, and spiritual. I recognize that our unique expression is embedded in multiple identities, just as it is embedded in a wider web of other-than-human beings. I embrace the opportunity to constantly learn how to live in right relationship within these webs.
I also acknowledge the systemic racism and oppression that is woven into the fabric of our society and our cultural identities. As such, I recognize that I have been brought up in colonial mindset and have been at the receiving end of privileges afforded by my place as a settler of European ancestry on this land. I commit to learning to recognize and dismantle these mindsets within myself, and to live in right relationship with the peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. I know that I make mistakes, and vow to navigate this awkward and uncomfortable space and not back away; in this spirit, I invite feedback so that I may continue to learn and grow.
I actively cultivate my hope for social justice, by doing the following:
- support local First Nations initiatives through donations, and by signing up my home and business to the Reciprocity Trust (https://www.reciprocitytrusts.ca)
- learn about local indigenous peoples and their history with this land
- plant indigenous species in my backyard and participate as a volunteer gardener in the neighbourhood native plant gardens and habitat restoration projects
- strive to never appropriate indigenous people’s sacred ways, but rather to continually explore my own unique way of kneeling to kiss the ground
- participate in my children’s school activities that promote diversity, inclusion, and social justice, such as being a part of the Moms Against Racism group
- continue to learn and train, to create a more inclusive and safe space in my work and in my personal interactions with BIPOC, queer, trans and LGBTQIA2+ people
- nurturing a shared sense of the sacredness of the web of life and our place in it, and coming into ever greater intimacy, opening myself to a wild love affair with the myriad beings of this land – of the mineral, plant, insect, animal, and elemental realms – acknowledging their unique forms of intelligence and their deep-time origins
Born in Switzerland, I left those lands as a baby and grew up on the Burrard Inlet near Deep Cove in North Vancouver, on the traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Peoples of the Inlet, and the Squamish Nations. These are the lands where I spent the first 20 years of my life, my parents having settled here from Quebec and Switzerland.
In my mid-twenties I moved to Europe for a decade to unearth my European and Swiss roots, before coming back to Vancouver Island out of love and longing for this place that shaped me, grew me, nested its impressions deep in my heart and psyche. I now live on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking people of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, and the SENĆOŦEN-speaking WSÁNEĆ communities of Wjołełp (Tsartlip), StáutU (Tsawout) and Wsikem (Tseycum), Málexeł (Malahat) and Bokećen (Pauquachin) First Nations. I live here with my husband from Switzerland, and our two children, born in Switzlerand and raised on Vancouver Island.
I acknowledge my Swiss, French, Italian and Romanian ancestry, as well as my lineage through marriage with my husband’s Swiss, French and Scottish ancestry. As a family, we create our home “here and now” in full acknowledgment and respect for the deep-time history of this place. I consider myself a learner to these particular lands, and also consider myself a member of this greater Earth community. Each time I engage in ritual on these lands, I request permission and offer drops of St. John’s wort, a gift of the mountains and sun from my Swiss ancestry, offered in the spirit of joy held in healing fire within this plant.
May this feeling of deep respect, love, and reverence be enacted through my relationship to the land, air, waters, sun and moon, to all living entities and sentient beings, and to the people, ancestors and spirits of this place. May my actions be infused with ever-deepening integrity with life on Earth so I may contribute to the resurgence of a life-enhancing, life-celebrating culture. So may it be.