When I graduate, I will miss the Mamidosewin Centre.
After class, I head to the cafeteria to grab a coffee. The place is alive and bursting with energy. Feeling rushed, I take my time going to Mamidosewin—the word means “meeting place” or “walking together” in Algonquin/Ojibwe. As I near where I want to go, the smell of sage burning reminds me of the stillness of a sacred practice.
Entering Mamidosewin, I find the seating is in a circle, where Indigenous students are catching up with each other and relaxing. The space brings together students who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis. It is where I sense belonging, a community, a meeting place and a home away from home.
Leaving my community for work and to further my post-secondary studies makes me think about seasonal fall activities: feasts, celebrations, cookouts, camping, and visiting family and friends.
Homesickness and loneliness are temporary.
I will have good memories of being in this place, Mamidosewin. Moreover, being here has introduced me to neighbouring nations’ traditions and cultural and spiritual practices.
After I complete my studies, after I return to work, this is what I will miss the most. To be in a safe, calm space where I can relate to the good stresses that come with post-secondary studies.