Nzhishenh darren uncle Darren McGregor Nimkee Banishe Ndizhnikaaz (Thunderbird), Ogimaa Nameh Ndoodem (Chief Sturgeon Clan), Sagamok Ndoonjibaa What are your teachings surrounding being an uncle? Uncle is about teaching respect to those who look to you in that role. When we teach respect, it’s done in a good way with understanding and not with shame or fear. It’s also helping those ones who come to you for guidance and showing them a way of life that mirrors the life of our ancestors, in a modern world. As an uncle who takes care of his family, what are the stories of the sacred, proud and protective role that you hold in embracing the safety of family? I think of the word protective and it reminds me of safety right away—ensuring that people are safe and ensuring that those young ones are safe. understanding that humility and how we understand that the spirit inside of us is very sacred. We have to take care of that in helping people and helping our little ones understand that sacredness of their spirit. Also letting them know that when they go through life, there is a lot more, and being connected to everybody, mother earth, to spirit and being alone with their physical self. Walking around with pride and when all of the pieces of a puzzle are put together you can see the beauty of that picture. When there are pieces of that puzzle missing the beauty isn’t completely there. So when you are working with teaching about culture, teaching about identity, they are understanding themselves. When they see themselves in their whole picture and they see their beauty of who they are, it is like that puzzle is all together. So, it is helping to put those pieces in their right place. Excerpt from the interview with Darren McGregor by Elizabeth Eshkibok, Cultural Practitioner at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre.