âpihtawikosisân is the name the Cree have given to the Métis. It literally means “half-son”. I chose the name to reflect the fact that I am coming from a Métis perspective, and it is not actually my name, legal or otherwise. It sounds like ah-pih-du-wi-GO-si-sahn. In rapid speech it can sound more like ah-pih-duhh-GO-si-sahn which is what most people repeat back to me when asked how to say this word I’d understand either pronunciation.
My name is Chelsea Vowel. I am a 37 year old Métis mother of two girls, step-mother to two more. I was born and raised just outside of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta which is about 70 km west of Edmonton. I have BEd and taught for some time in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. I obtained my LLB from the University of Alberta and then promptly moved to the only civil law jurisdiction in the country…Quebec, making my common-law degree rather less useful.
So here I am, in Montreal, adjusting to an urban existence far from my home territory, adjusting to a new language and culture, and dabbling in Law and Education. Currently I am teaching Inuit youth under protection.
On top of all that, I am pursuing my passion for my Plains Cree language and aboriginal language education in general, and shifting my attention to Indigenous law (our law) rather than Aboriginal law (how the Canadian state relates to us). I ‘relax’ via roller derby as Louise Riel. Less strenuous forms of leisure have me writing and singing songs in Plains Cree.
Where else you’ll read/hear/find me:
The Winter We Danced (I have two pieces in this book)
I’m not a huge fan of the comments section on Huff Post which I have no control over and I’ve made the conscious decision not to read or answer posts when I publish there. I try to post my shorter works on HuffPost and keep the longer discussions here.
Indigenous Waves: discussing the Tsilhqot’in decision