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Boozoo, Mko Mose Indizhnikaz, Meshekenh n'doodem, d' eshkan ziibi n'doonjiba Anishinaabe inini n'dow. Hi, my English name is Andrew Judge and my spirit name is Bear Walker (Mko Mose), I am Turtle Clan (Meshekenh n'doodem) was born and raised near the horned river (d' eshkan ziibi n'doonjiba) and I am both Irish and Anishinaabe. My dad was born in Thessalon, ON and my Mom was born in London, ON. I was born and raised in London, ON. I have been working in the area of Indigenous education for the past seven years. I started by engaging youth at an Indigenous science camp in Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island, I then began designing, facilitating and implementing mentoring programs for Indigenous elementary and secondary students at the CAMH centre for Prevention Science and now I teach Indigenous studies at Fanshawe College.
The current focus of my PhD "re-search" is seeking to re-establish gete-Anishinaabe-izhichigewin (Ancient Anishinaabe Customs) by articulating the nature of Anishinaabeg mino-bimaadiziwin (living the good life) through an academic lens. I am doing this in hopes that Anishinaabe students gain the opportunity to learn the truth about their ancestors in their formal educational years. By better articulating the Anishinaabeg "ethnometaphysics of consciousness" (Hallowell, 1976), within the institution, bridges between eurocentric and Indigenous knowledge may be constructed.
For me, the pursuit of Indigenous knowledge and the knowledge of my ancestors has led me on the most extraordinary journey imaginable. As I continue to advance in my studies as a doctoral student aiming to re-establish customary forms of Indigenous knowledge, I gain a deeper sense of self awareness, as man of Indigenous descent. I constantly battle to decolonize my eurocentric assumptions concerning the world, cosmos and universe and seek the guidance of Elders and my dreams for strategies to live a good life (Mino-bimaadiziwin). I feel privileged to be viewing the world using an Indigenous lens and have learned to harness some of the strengths of Anishinaabeg medicine to help achieve my goals. This incredible knowledge requires a commitment for life, it is a commitment to which I remain steadfast.
Each day I continue to be humbled by the teachings of my ancestors and I am always excited to share the little I have learned with anyone interested.
Chi Miigwetch (Big Thanks)