Mary L. L. Graham – “Tree of Life” Cards



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About the Artist

Mary L. L. Graham

Mary L. L. Graham’s Journey of Life I was adopted and later in my Journey of Life pursued my Cultural Identity.  My background consists of the Métis and Indigenous Culture which is a reflection of who my birth parents are in the Family Tree.  As a result, my Métis religious beliefs consist of Christian Views and Traditional Anishinaabe Spiritual Visions -- Kitchi-Manitou. My mother (Mary Maureen Gertrude Parisien) was a Métis woman of mixed race which consisted of French, Cree - Ojibway, and was fluent in the Michif -language.  My birth father (Roy Norman Lavallee) was also Métis who was born in St Laurent, Manitoba.  He was an individual of mixed European and Indigenous Ancestry, French and Ojibway Heritage.  Both my parents were great at cooking Traditional Métis recipes include Pemmican (made from dried buffalo meat), Bannock (bread), Fried Bread, Métis soups, Meatballs, Les Tourtières (meat pies), Pea Soup, Steamed pudding and Custard. The name Mary is really pronounced Mar-ée in the Métis Heritage and a Biblical name derived from the Christian era meaning beloved or loved; can be rebellious at times—My Mama would call me “Warrior Woman”. I am actively involved in learning more about the Métis Heritage by attending gatherings such as Métis Days in St Laurent, and Festival du Voyageur. I am an active member at the Manitoba Métis Federation.  I enjoy wearing my Métis Sash, jigging, playing the spoons, yodeling, learning the Michif language and cooking some Traditional Métis foods. My hobbies include playing the guitar, writing poems, beading and art work.  Majority of my educational training was supported by the Manitoba Métis Federation which included Diplomas in Community Development/Community Economic Development Program, a Youth Care Support Worker Certificate at Red River College and Educational Assistant Diploma Program at The University of Winnipeg. I am a Family Member/Survivor of MMIWG2S regarding issues and awareness of the violence against our Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited.  My Métis Identity is very important to me as a Woman of mixed race because of a sense of belonging, connection to a language, culture, religion and respect for my birth parents heritage…..We are all human beings that need to learn how to understand culture, establish relationships with people from cultures different from your own, act as an ally against racism, violence and other forms of discrimination.
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