CORNER BROOK — The Davis sisters of Corner Brook are embracing their aboriginal roots.
Of its own accord that may be remarkable enough, but knowing their upbringing it may even be a little shocking.
It was approximately two years ago that Joanne Goulding, Callie Neil, and Muriel Goulding obtained their aboriginal status. It was a big step for the sisters, who said their mother refused to even acknowledge her aboriginal connection.
“Our mother would never admit to us, to anybody, that she was aboriginal,” Joanne said Thursday, while attending National Aboriginal Day events in Corner Brook.
“It was all hidden. It was a big secret. It was scorned upon. Since we found out we are native, we are really anxious to find out everything about our past.”
The sisters believe their heritage was hidden because of stigmas attached to it.
Last fall, they joined the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association, and their intrigue grew. They have joined the drumming group, have their own drums, and are learning all they can about their aboriginal culture. In stark contrast to most of their lives, they said their children are also embracing it.
With an increasing acceptance and embracing of the aboriginal heritage, they wonder how their late mother would feel about things today.
“Part of me is thinking, because our mom passed away quite a few years ago, how she would feel about how involved we are,” Callie said. “It is kind of bittersweet. I am hoping she would embrace it the same way we have.”
The sisters agree there is a special spiritual connection, which was really evident during their emotional first smudging.
“It is just a feeling you get,” Callie said.
“It’s just knowing where we came from and our culture,” Muriel added. “It seemed like, once we joined the aboriginal women’s group, it just came naturally. We had to find out more.”