“For me, staying well during COVID comes with connecting to my spirituality and healing my spirit. It comes with harvesting our traditional foods and medicines. It comes with speaking x̄a'islak̓ala, my native tongue, learning my family history and the history of my Nation. It comes with singing, drumming, and dancing to our songs.” – Megan
Megan Metz is a member of Haisla First Nation. During COVID-19, Megan Gets Rooted in Culture.
Megan finds wellness during COVID-19 by being rooted in traditional culture. When we are grounded in culture, we understand who we are, where we come from and why we’re here. These are tough questions to answer without culture!
Megan and her friends harvest traditional foods and medicines in her community
Having a strong sense of identity through culture and language protects us and our communities. “Language is such a huge part of our identity. It impacts the way we view the world," says Megan. “I want to be able to experience my territory the way my ancestors would have. The names of the places, the names of the plants and the animals."
Many communities are beginning to host online language classes. Megan has helped people connect with fluent speakers to preserve the x̄a'islak̓ala language. During COVID-19, Megan began sharing her x̄a'islak̓ala “word of the day” on Facebook.
There are more than 50 languages available at the Explore Languages: First Voices website. Or you could use the First Voices app on your smartphone. First Voices provides the spelling and audio pronunciation for words and phrases. Wondering how to ask someone their name in the Haisla language x̄a'islak̓ala? No problem! One click and you’ll know it’s “ʼng°athaˈs?”