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Linda, Tła'li'pi'ni'ga̱ - which means 'One who is always helping', is from the Gwa'sala-Nakwaxda'xw First Nation on her maternal grandma's side and the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation on her maternal grandpa's side. Her dad, Jamie, is a white settler. Linda has been on her sobriety journey from alcohol for three years and three months.
Linda, like many First Nations people, experienced trauma as a direct result of colonialism and residential schools. Her grandmother was apprehended and placed in St. Michael's Residential School in Alert Bay; her mother was part of the 60s scoop. That cycle of trauma was repeated when Linda and her sister were taken and placed in the child welfare system.
Linda's parents were entrenched in substance and alcohol use and she was only four-years-old when she was sent away from her community to a foster home in Squamish. She would spend the rest of her childhood in the foster care system. Due to this intergenerational and ongoing trauma, Linda describes herself growing up as a “lost little girl" without any connections or true understanding of herself, her parents or her home community.
At an early age, Linda's search for comfort eventually led to using substances such as alcohol and drugs to numb her pain. She eventually moved away from Squamish to Vancouver to be closer to her mother, Tina. Sadly, Linda lost her mom in 2012 due to health complications from alcohol. After losing her mom, Linda spent most of her twenties drifting through life. She was not addressing the grief from losing her mom or her childhood traumas in a way that was healthy or good for her spirit.
Linda knew she needed to reach out, so she began to reconnect with her maternal grandma and her family from Port Hardy. From those reconnections, she began to draw strength from her community and culture. She began to learn about her family and who she really was. Linda was in early adulthood when she began to reflect on her life and decided she wanted more. She knew she had to break the intergenerational cycle of trauma and it had to start with her.
Linda attempted sobriety a few times but it was not an easy journey. In 2020, she lost her grandmother and that same year on July 23, Linda decided to be sober for good. In May 2022, she found out she was pregnant with her now almost one-year-old baby, who she named Tina, after her mom.
Linda shares that “it is important for me to break these harmful cycles my family has been in for generations. I want baby Tina to have a better life than all of us that came before her. Living a good, healthy and happy life is also important to me because my mom didn't get that chance".
Linda is grateful for the knowledge and tools she has been given throughout her life. They have helped her walk this path and start the healing journey for her family and herself.
Wellness and Cultural Supports: