31 Oct Somatic Sex Education Manifesto: Reia Lance
I am writing to you today from Mohkinstsis, the Blackfoot word for “elbow” in reference to the Elbow River in what is colonially known as Calgary, Alberta in Treaty 7 territory. This land has been cared for by the Blackfoot, Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda, as well as the Métis First Nations.
I feel most connected to this lands vast prairie view from atop Nosehill Park, where I often will visit the Blackfoot Medicine Wheel and let the wind kiss the tops of my cheeks. I am also a frequent visitor to a sacred river spot, where the Elbow meets the Bow in Inglewood and while there, I wait to hear what the ancestors in the water might have to say to me.
I came to the work of Somatic Sex Education as part of my efforts to decolonize, as a queer Algonquin kwe-a fluid term for woman in my ancestral language, I am strongly committed to building a future that refuses to replicate sexual and gender violence towards Indigenous bodies.
Colonialism tries very hard to keep me off my land which is an extension of my physical body, my mind, my spirit and my expression of freedom. Over the past two hundred years, without permission and without consent, Indigenous groups in this country have been systemically removed and dispossessed from most of our territories.
In order to call myself back, I must do the work of disrupting settler colonialism and the violent efforts made to have me forget who I am. I must stay present in my body, while being with the uncomfortable sensations that arise as I heal from trauma. I must relearn the language of the land which is intimately linked to the language of my physical body.
Somatic Sex Education is a very fertile place for decolonization because it is asking me to interrogate all the ways I’ve been conditioned to see sexuality and gender. It sees the wound created by the French Catholic system and reexamines what beliefs I have adopted as my own.
As an Algonquin, it is my responsibility to figure out my gifts and we as a Nation do that through ceremony, reflection and self-actualization. It is my belief that Somatic Sex Education is ceremony.
In my worldview, our personhood is shaped by the conditions to do the thing that most wants to emerge from us wether consciously or subconsciously. We are made up of flesh and bone which allows the conditions for us to profoundly connect with other beings made up of the same wild mystery that the universe is made of.
What I want with this medicine, is to be a responsible caretaker and knowledge keeper that facilitates the conditions for Eros to emerge in others. I hope to unsettle the settlers ideas around sex and gender- knowing that it takes a lot of rewiring. There is magic in bringing the body back online and it is in cultivating right relationship with it. To be together as flesh and bone in right relationship, we have to keep each other enraptured with aliveness because aliveness makes the world more real.