I am Reia Lance (she/her), an Indigenous Member of Algonquin Greater Golden Lake who is currently studying the work of Somatic Sex Education.
I am writing to you today from Mohkinstsis, the Blackfoot word for "elbow" in reference to the Elbow River in what is colonially known as Calgary, Alberta in Treaty 7 territory. This land has been cared for by the Blackfoot, Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda, as well as the Métis First Nations. I feel most connected to this lands vast prairie view from atop Nosehill Park, where I often visit the Blackfoot Medicine Wheel and let the wind kiss the tops of my cheeks. I am also a frequent visitor to a sacred river spot, where the Elbow meets the Bow in Inglewood and while there, I wait to hear what the ancestors in the water might have to say to me.
I came to the work of Somatic Sex Education as part of my efforts to decolonize, as a queer Algonquin kwe-a fluid term for woman in my ancestral language, I am strongly committed to building a future that refuses to replicate sexual and gender violence.
Somatic Sex Education is a very fertile place for decolonization because it is asking me to interrogate all the ways I’ve been conditioned to see sexuality and gender. As an Algonquin, it is my responsibility to figure out my gifts and we as a Nation do that through ceremony, reflection and self-actualization. It is my belief that Somatic Sex Education is ceremony.
In my worldview, our personhood is shaped by the conditions to do the thing that most wants to emerge from us wether consciously or subconsciously. We are made up of flesh and bone which allows the conditions for us to profoundly connect with other beings made up of the same wild mystery that the universe is made of. What I want with this medicine, is to be a responsible caretaker and knowledge keeper that facilitates the conditions for Eros to emerge in others. I hope to unsettle the settlers ideas around sex and gender- knowing that it takes a lot of rewiring. There is magic in bringing the body back online and it is in cultivating right relationship with it. To be together as flesh and bone in right relationship, we have to keep each other enraptured with aliveness because aliveness makes the world more real.