These are my blessings: seven adopted First Nations children that have chosen me as their mom. Our family has included many children, including White, Asian, transgender, Two Spirit, and more. As a family we choose to celebrate our differences and learn from each other. Sadly, we have seen many who do not share our beliefs that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

I have learned much from my diverse family. From my birth children who chose to share their hearts and home with many, I seen and learned more about love, acceptance, and generosity. From my Cree children, I have been taught the respect for culture, courage, the importance of unconditional love. From my church family, I have learned about my White privilege and how to be an ally for all God’s children.

From some in our world I have been taught about racism. I have seen how my children can go into a store and be followed with suspicion, until clerks realize I am their mother. I’ve also seen my children stand up in the playground after being told “they are immigrants to Canada,” and proudly say, “My people are the first people of Canada!”

I am sad to have to tell my children that people will make assumptions about them because of the amount of melatonin in their skin. But I am also happy to tell them they have much to be proud of in their Cree heritage: the keepers of Mother Earth, the guardians of peace, the village that raises children, First Nations respect for Two Spirit people, and the honor of women.

As a family we will continue to advocate and stand up for the dignity and respect for all people.

-Fran Forsberg

Fran is a member of Grosvenor Park United Church in Saskatoon, and Chair of the Affirming Ministries Committee.