Mystics in the Matrix

Moving Beyond 'Reconciliation' and Honoring Indigenous Sovereignty and Lifeways w/ Melaney Gleeson-Lyall

February 16, 2020 Amber Samaya Season 1 Episode 5
Mystics in the Matrix
Moving Beyond 'Reconciliation' and Honoring Indigenous Sovereignty and Lifeways w/ Melaney Gleeson-Lyall
Show Notes

Melaney is a Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm)/Nanoose, Snaw’naw’as woman who, from birth, was fostered out and then adopted into a White settler family during the 60s scoop. Later in her life, Melaney reconnected to her Indigenous culture, wisdom, family and way of life and now holds a unique and powerful position as a bridge between worlds and cultures - the 'Western' and her traditional Indigenous ways of living and being.

When I met Melaney at a Work That Reconnects workshop on Bowen Island, we didn't share many words, but were immersed in a deep group process moving through ecological grief, and showing vulnerability with one another as we allowed our truths and personal pain over the state of our post-colonial, neoliberal, extractivist economy and culture to surface. Melaney led our entire group of over 20 people through the KAIROS Blanket Exercise - "a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples" ( This was a very somatic experience of the atrocities experienced by Indigenous people in Canada. It unzipped me, and took me from knowing about the genocide of Indigenous people on an intellectual level, to feeling it and understanding it on a much deeper more cellular level. Her leadership is powerful and she speaks her truth without fear. A medicine woman - of this, I am certain.
In this conversation, Melaney also touches on what it looks like to be an ally for Indigenous peoples and the value of relationship building and resourcing the Indigenous (First Nation, Metis, Inuit) communities you live alongside. She shares the importance of centering Indigenous cultural revitalization and healing, and how that healing is part of the healing of the whole world.
This time and conversation was a gift from the moment I entered Melaney's space, the food she shared with me (I mean, homemade focaccia bread!) to the depth of her sharing, and the warmth that emanated from her deeply wise and truth-telling being.
This is a medicine conversation. I invite you to make some tea, settle in and join us.

To stay connected with Melaney, you can follow her on...
Instagram: @melzeagle

Thank you for listening. Thank you for hearing.

Amber Samaya

Show Notes:

Learn about the Musqueam Nation -
Chiros Blanket Exercise -
Learn about the 60's scoop -
The Work that Reconnects -
Reconnecting To Life workshop on Bowen Island (that Melaney and I participated in - highly highly recommend!) -
Wet’suwet’en Strong: SUPPORTER TOOLKIT -


In Paler Skies, by Blue Dot Sessions from the Free Music Archive (Creative Commons License)

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