thoughtful thursday – abandonment by the system

image via

there are a number of government-funded programs where participants “age out”, but perhaps the most egregious is the foster care program.  children become adults when they turn 19 in BC, so they’re no longer under the aegis of the ministry in charge.  and any problems they encounter as soon as they turn 19 seem to be laid squarely on their own shoulders, the ministry has a hands off approach.  while the ministry indicates that there are resources available, how many 19 year olds, let alone those who’ve been in the foster care system, would have the maturity to first recognize their needs, then the wherewithal to hunt those resources down for themselves and navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth to achieve the help they need?

the irony always strikes me: when we are “finished” with a stage in our life, are we really ready to attack the next?  we’ve noticed a distinct lack of continuity of care in various government supported programs between one life stage and another: pregnancy to birth to postpartum, preschool to school age, youth to adult, in care to out of care.  are we really ready when we’re booted out on our ass from our previous support?  probably not.  i know that i certainly wasn’t in any fit state to navigate whatever resources were available postpartum, i just clung on by my nails and did the best i could, and used the resources that i knew about, but had nothing in me to investigate, or even realize that there was a further resource that i could possibly participate in.  when i asked for support, my options seemed frustratingly limited, but perhaps they weren’t – we have to rely on gatekeepers of knowledge to make these decisions for us, and perhaps they’re not in the best position to do so.

BC teen killed herself the day after she aged out of foster care – vancouversun

Lost in transition: the gap between child and adult mental health services – healthydebate

Slain 37 year old lived chaotic life, failed by BC’s social services – vancouversun

What’s next? Special needs kids face gap in Cowichan – Cowichan Valley Citizen

Inside the stressful world of a preemie mom – Toronto Star


thoughtful thursday – thank you NICU nurses

we had a week in the NICU. yup, it was intense.  and the people that most impressed us and helped us through?  definitely the NICU nurses.  they’re amazing to watch, delicately handling all the very, very tiny babies and moving gently, and calmly.  what a rare breed.

Huffington Post – Thank you, NICU nurses

Still Standing Magazine – Dear NICU nurse

Sunnybrook – Thank you, NICU – Appreciate your NICU nurse: a letter from a neonatologist

thoughtful thursday – clean water?

we live in Canada. apparently, we have the 4th largest renewable supply of fresh water.  in the world.  supposedly, “over 99.8% of Canadians have access to pure drinking water and safe sanitation“.

really?  so what about our First Nations’ communities?

First Nations' communities with boil water advisories across Canada

First Nations’ communities with boil water advisories across Canada via Vice

here’s an interesting statistic: 169 First Nation communities across Canada do not have access to clean drinking water (35 of those in BC – second only to 79 in Ontario)

wtf is our federal government doing pissing around with free trade agreements and other international deals and schemes to support transnational corporations when our own citizens can’t even get a clean glass of drinking water??

Continue reading

thoughtful thursday – piliriqatigiingniq

Piliriqatigiingniq, is a pillar of Inuit traditional knowledge, meaning to work together towards a common goal.

here’s the article that sparked my interest via Facebook

These Nunavut Teenage Artists Finished a Massive Toronto Mural | VICE | Canada.

read further:

nunatsiaqonline – Nunavut youth helping to create huge downtown Toronto mural

nunatsiaqonline – Nunavut-Toronto mural project finds new canvas

nunatsiaqonline – Inuit youth conquer and brighten an urban wall


thoughtful thursday – sealfie

tagaq’s daughter

before sealfie was a movement, tagaq, her daughter & her mother celebrated the success of the hunt, the nourishment of her community, the continuity of tradition with this memory photo, and got a sh!tstorm in response when she joined the #sealfies

My Mother took the picture, and I [Tagaq] put my baby next to the seal, and everybody just thought it was the cutest thing in the world. Like it was a really sweet endearment because I honour my children immensely and I would never, ever, do anything to compromise that honour towards them. It was just showing how much I appreciated the seal for giving its life so we could be happy and eat.

“I wanted to it to be a tongue-in-cheek protest to all these very serious animal rights activists,” Laakukuk told me via Facebook message. “Many of us Inuit use humour to make a strong point instead of anger. I also wanted the sealfie to focus on cultural celebration and positive self-esteem.”

Tanya Tagaq’s Cute Sealfie Pissed Off A Lot of Idiots | VICE | Canada

We Spoke to the Inuit Women Behind ‘Sealfies’ | VICE | Canada

Tanya Tagaq #sealfie provokes anti-sealing activists – North – CBC News

Tanya Tagaq: Anti-Sealing Activists Have Been ‘Vilifying Inuit People For Generations’

Tanya Tagaq on the Polaris Prize, the seal hunt and the “sealfie” – The National – CBC

thoughtful thursday – menopause


via Center for Whale Research

Image courtesy of the Center for Whale Research

Listening to an old Quirks & Quarks podcast (Mar 7 2015) discussing why menopause is rare in mammals (and why it exists at all). Killer whales & pilot whales also experience menopause, and unlike other non-reproductive, aging females in other mammal species, they don’t  leave their family group as they age. The theory: these elders have knowledge that is valuable to the success of their family (thus to the successful propagation of their genetics and thus their “culture”) and their social structure recognizes and values this knowledge by keeping the elder, non-reproductive females around to pass on this knowledge.

Wow. What an incredible lesson for us to take on.

National Geographic – After Menopause, Female Killer Whales Help Pod Survive

ScienceDirect – Current Biology – Ecological Knowledge, Leadership, and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales