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Lisa on discovering a fascinating family history and living in the light

June 15, 2022

I’ve always been interested in memory-keeping and storytelling, but my family history had never been fully delved into. There was a lot of confusion around where we really came from. As I looked into it further, I discovered a fascinating history that had been hidden for generations, which included being Métis.

Lisa standing in a field

After discovering this, I became a Métis Nation of Alberta citizen, and I worked to gain this status for my five children too. Even though my roots are from the Red River Region (Winnipeg), the Nation where you live and settle adopts you and takes you in as their own once they see the bloodline. I’ve discovered wonderful programs to help new members understand who they are. This includes bannock-making kits, beading instruction, jigging lessons and sessions with Elders who share stories, passing knowledge and customs through generations. I also discovered that it’s typical for Métis culture to get lost, and that I, along with many others, am part of what is called the “found generation.”

In taking the time to reflect on the incredible Métis teachings and doing some work on who I am with my PwC Canada coach, I decided to focus on reclaiming my ancestry, building it within my children and connecting with my Métis community members. I want my kids to be proud of our Métis heritage, but in order for that to happen, I need time to spend on it and our traditions.

Now that I know who I am, I feel like I’m able to bring my whole self to work. I became an executive member of PwC Canada’s Indigenous Inclusion Network, and I helped develop the firm’s territory acknowledgement policy. I’m also excited to be in conversation about our firm’s strategy to support Indigenous people, communities and Nations on PwC Canada’s path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

It’s all been such a meaningful journey, and I’ve felt fully supported by PwC Canada as I’ve embraced my lost identity. I’ve always been joy-focused and joy-fuelled, and I’ve loved learning these links of joy to the Métis teachings. I feel that it’s important to learn from the things that bring me down, but life is too short to dwell on dark times. We’re meant to live in the light, find joy and use it to let our true selves shine.

Lisa is a client relationship senior manager in Calgary and national lead of the sales enablement programs in Marketing, Communications and Sales. Learn more about the “found generation.”