It has been 2 years today and one month since I had my coming of age ceremony. The one day where I was 12 years old, scared to death, nervous,and happy all at once. In my culture(First Nations) a part of life is where you have Indian names in our language(Kwakawala). I never got one when I was born, but you have 2. One when you are in between one month and one years old, and another one when you have hit puberty, which is around 12 years old. This ceremony was a big thing to me. The day after 4 years of not being interested in my own culture. I got there at exactly 9:26 a.m. My auntie took me into the back. That is when I met Chloe,Danielle.W, and my cousin Anne Wallace Jr.
We had to stay hidden until our ceremony which I believe was around 4 p.m.We stayed in someone car who I believe his name was Charlie. Covered windows with black blankets,locked the doors, turned in our phones, and bags. We weren’t allowed to eat when everyone else did. So when the clock hit 12, we were hungry. We found a packet of halls and started passing them around. Fresh breath for the ceremony. When it was time to get ready we went to the back, where all the dancers get ready. We had to put on a round hat that covered our faces, grey blanket, and had to take off our shoes. We walked on the side to the front of the big house, we walked around the fire, my auda was squeezing my arm. I stopped at the first corner and stood by my box with my uncle TK. He said a few words to me(which I would much rather not put). A slower song came on. A song that was slower. A line of lady came out, who were all holding strings of rope braided. My auntie Tiff tied the first one around my waist. My auntie Terra tied the next one a bit lower. My auda tied one to my left arm. My mom tied the one on my right arm. My cousin Barb tied two on my left leg(one on my knee and the other on my ankle. My auntie Trish did my right leg. My uncle came around and said our native names. “This beautiful young lady, Merissa Ada Anne Donna Lisa Walkus Wallace. Her name is Wazid-loved one.” Then he did the others which I forgot. I had to step into a ring of cedar tree branches.This was to cleanse me from all the pain,grief and sadness. It was to cleanse me so I felt no pain from the past. My auda handed me a silver bracelet with a wolf design. I stepped on my box. I danced the lady dance as of after that ceremony I was considered a young lady. We stepped off of our boxes and continued the ladies dance. We went towards the back to grab our gifts. We all did different sections. I chose from the singers up to the right side of the big house. I remember Charlie, Buddy,Papa, and the singers put them on as soon as I gave it to them. It was tie dye bandannas and other prints. We were all given a dance to do later on that evening. I was supposed to do the weather dance but it never worked out. So 2 years and 1 month ago I became a young women. This is a day I will always remember. My coming of age. <3