Just a quick morning post. I’ve been feeling like complete trash in the mornings lately and it’s been taking all of my willpower to go to work. I decided I needed to switch the mornings up into a positive so I take my dogs for rip, try to motivate myself to get in at least a tiny workout of some sort (tough for me) and as soon as I crawl out of bed I bump “Feelin Like” by Hellnback . I get to work and for the first 5-10 minutes I’ve decided I want to hear nothing but positive news, laughter, happiness before we dig into the tough stuff we face with our northern youth. If I’m in a negative space of mind kids feel that, people feel that and that is the opposite of what I am meant to bring to the table. More than all of that talk, I really wanted to make this post to shout out Karmen Omeasoo who is Hellnback. These hip hop dudes get a bad rep from a lot of people but if you’ve ever heard Karmen speak or had a conversation with the man you’d know how intelligent he is and how well meaning his music and his messages are. He not only is an artist but also a public speaking figure with his wife Lisa who is of equal brilliance (he might even say more so). I encourage to check out his new music, but more importantly to the messages within his music, it could change your perspective on shitty mornings that have gone on for months and turn that negative emotion into positive like it did for me. Yeah it’s still hard to get up, get moving, and motivated; but it’s a lot easier when you have a dude (or any person) speaking at you through their music/talents . It’s all about choice, you get to choose to start out miserable or to turn that shit around and get busy doing good things, and I choose the latter. It’s 7:35 am as I write this; time to get fired up for today. Check out Hellnback’s new album 1491 out soon. Start out listening to “feelin like” and “the spirit” which are available on Apple Music and YouTube. Thanks Karmen for the music, I’ll be that white boy in Thompson, windows down bumpn’ Helly loud. If you also check out any of his pages or vids he’s often rocking Hustle Tribe gear. I dunno if it’s appropriate that I wear their stuff but if I find out it is okay imma pick me up a nice SnapBack, their clothing is flashy and cultural and thought provoking and I love it! Check them out too! Have a good day everyone, you woke up on the right side of the grass, now it’s your move. Your bawd, Drisc. https://youtu.be/wKIvwY8VrFU. https://squareup.com/store/HUSTLETRIBE/
I have read a lot of comments on the Humboldt tragedy this past week. I have also read and seen so many amazing comments, videos and tributes. I am not an overly big fan of all of this “god” stuff being brought into the tragedy but it did really make me think about spirituality. Really overall, it left me with far too many questions and far too little answers.
With tragedies such as the premature passing of Erik Karlsson’s son, to the passing of Jonathan Pitre, and finally to the passing of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos. Why have all of these affected an entire country as well as other parts of the world? Many people have been posting asking why more attention is not being paid to other deaths and such that happen everyday. While this is very true, there is a very strong reason why all of these events I just noted are filling an entire country with great grief and loss.
In the case of the Karlssons, it was only briefly covered through the media as to respect the wishes of the family, but in Canada, hockey players might as well be gods. To see or know one of them is hurting and grieving makes us as Canadians hurt and grieve and feel with them. On the same topic, many children have been lost before birth, and it greatly affects the entire familial unit, especially the mother. I know for my myself having known what loss is over the past eight years, and through a career as a social worker, I now internalize other peoples loss in attempt to understand how they feel, to empathize and to understand what they are going through if I have not yet been through it. For Erik to reach out in the worst time of his life and pay his respects to those lost in the Humboldt Broncos accident , is tearful and upsetting, but comforting in the fact that his son Axel now has a group of boys to guide him through his next life, with lots of love and lots of hockey.
I have heard a lot of people say that hockey has suffered a great loss. To me, it has absolutely nothing to do with hockey. The people lost are the great loss, hockey comes second. I think what everyone really grabs a hold of from this tragedy, along with myself is that “that could have been me” or “this could have been my team” or for my friends with kids “that could have been my children and their friends”. I can recall some of the best times growing up riding on buses. Riding on buses to and from school, riding buses to hockey tournaments and to football games. I can vividly remember atom/peewee hockey with all of the boys singing the entire Shania Twain “The Woman in Me” on a way to a tournament somewhere in Northern Ontario. I can remember our high school hockey bus driver Jim Rankin, who was also our biggest fan. I can recall having Jimmy Rankin as our bus driver to SARSTOCK in Toronto area and we were late to get back to the bus; the entire bus was so angry at us and Jim. Jim refused to leave the city without the three of us on the bus because we were part of his team and him ours. Jimmy Rankin is beauty! It was always less about the hockey and more about friendships, having fun, and going to battle with and for one another. Most of the guys I played sports with I would still take a bullet for or crash through a brick wall for, because I know they would do the same for me.
I think the outpouring of support has been so widespread because everyone realises “that could have been me”. That could have been me and the boys on the way home from AC/DC, or that could have been my 12 year old self and my teammates and our parents on that bus. I do not know a singe person that was involved in that crash, but I do know that I felt immense pain hurt and sadness for them.
Regardless of the media attention, community is important in grieving. Having people around you who can somewhat relate, or not. Someone just being present can being a real game changer. We all experience loss in our lifetime, it is inevitable. What is different sometimes is how people choose to grieve, how to deal with pain and loss, and the timeline in which that grief and loss stays in ones life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in these worst of times. Especially if you are a public figure, or a celebrity or pro hockey player; you may think you can deal with it on your own; you cant! Have a back up plan of “your people” who can help and who will listen or engage if that’s what you want. No person is invincible in the face of death or pain.
I have zero answers to the question “why did this have to happen”, or “where was your god”. I asked the same questions when my friend Fletcher was murdered, when my friend Hooter was killed in a car accident after turning his life around and enrolling in the military, after my bro Teeghan took his own life one week before he was to turn 18 and be free of the care system. I don’t have answers. I just know that if heaven is a real place, it consists of a lot of great people, many who I truly to do believe watch over for us and for one another.
To Erik and Melinda, I am so sorry for your loss, there is no doubt Axel is up there with the boys learning to take clappers from the point like his old man. To the family of Jonathan Pitre, thank you for allowing our country to get to know Jonathan, to see his bravery and courage and perseverance through the worst and making the best of every moment is truly a teaching lesson for all of us; thank you for sharing him with us, he’s up there too, no more pain, ripping around best rink of all time, friends with Axel and all the boys. To the family and friends of the Humboldt Broncos. There is nothing I can add that someone already hasn’t said, but know that those boys were ours as well as a country, even if we didn’t know them, because at one time we were them. No money in the world can replace any of the lives lost or the pain you feel, so please make sure you take care of yourselves and ask for help when you need it, and you will. Know that the entire country is wrapped around you in more than just thought and prayer, but in action in spirit and love.
Love your bawd,
I was able to briefly watch and support the only members of Team North in the Manitoba Winter Games in Thompson from Pimicikamak Cree Nation this past Friday. For the small time i was there I was lucky enough to see the small team of youth having fun and doing something positive, good for their health, and being role models for other youth inside and out of their community. None of this would be possible without the support of the community and their coach Kendall Robinson, giving his free time and devoting his life’s work to helping these kids stay busy and being that someone to look up to. I think if you asked him he would say it’s changed his life for the better as well. Ever since being able to visit PCN/Cross Lake on a semi regular basis in years past, It has always held a special place in my heart. The people are resilient, the land is beautiful, and there is hope in spite of the barriers past and present which they face. The team ended up winning 2 bronze and 3 silver medals in the competition, but more importantly were given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their nation. I am honoured to have met and have worked with Kendall during my time in PCN and to now call him a friend. I am and always will be a lifelong fan of Pimicikamak Cree Nation and the good that comes from this community. Kendall and his team are my heroes not just this week but forever. I’ll always be the token white guy fan in the background with the Rock poster cheering for the young prior from this community to strive to achieve greatness. Congratulations wrestling team, coach and community, you deserve to be recognized. Your bawd, Adam
I thought that now would be the perfect time to pick up where I left off in December 2017. Things have changed while basically staying the same. This post isn’t just about one person, I guess it’s a shout out to many people. For the first time in a while I had felt the sting of rejection after being fully confident that I had done everything in my power to prove my worth as a person and as an employee. within a week that confidence was shattered but only for a brief moment in time. People stepped up with words of encouragement, some friends even busted out some f bombs; in the day and a half after that phone call of disappointment though, and with time to reflect it has given me the ability to cool my jets and think of everything good I have in my life. I am very lucky and blessed (not in a religious way). I have a very good life that I am fortunate to have, how can I even for a second complain about a moment of shittiness when I take a look around and see so many with so little who are so content. There should be very little to no time to sulk when you are doing okay and something difficult happens and you are still okay. I was banking on making my way back home for good, but that whole week after the interview all I could think of was all the good I would have to leave behind as well. So many people that have impacted my life in a positive manner. It’s funny to say out loud but Thompson saved my life, I’m sure of it! One day I will make the difficult decision to move home and choose time with my family over compensation for work. Family always comes first, family over everything, but it won’t be easy to say goodbye to the number of people that I have become friends with, the people who have given me opportunities to find my purpose in life, and especially the hundreds of kids I’ve met over the years here who have opened up and shared their lives with me good and bad and trusted that I would have their back. Man, it’s been almost eight years and I love all of you for what you have done for me and the impact you have had on my life; I am truly humbled. Setbacks are just opportunities for great comebacks. When it is time for me to leave, I will be excited but also sad; for now though you are stuck with me a bit longer and I hope that is okay. Be grateful for what you do have even in times of disappointment or loss or whatever it may be that you are going through. This post is for everyone who saw something good in me and saw my potential and gave me a shot, an opportunity. It’s my turn to pass it on. Love, your bawd, Drisc xo.
by Jeff Driscoll
A true hero is someone who doesn’t seek out to be someone’s hero, it is the person who hides in the shadows and seeks no praise. It’s in silence that you hear and it’s in patience that you help others grow, and it’s with that grace of being that a hero is born, which echoes through the lives that have been touched.
If you’ve made it as far as to read the title of this latest entry, you know by now that my brother’s blog has been hijacked (thanks Kristie!). He’s always spoken so highly of individuals through My Hero Movement, but for those who know my brother Adam, he is one of the most deserving to have his name among the greatest.
Unaware at the time, we grew up quite privileged, provided with all we needed. We have had the honour of learning from two of the greatest parents children could have, whether it was learning to appreciate what we have, never let things go to waste, help others out, and understand others by putting yourself in their shoes. These are just a few of the things we learned growing up, and to see where we are now, it’s easy to see my brother is a living example of these teachings.
However, I also like to think I played a role in his ability to thrive the way he has in life. As a kid, I was what you might call “a loose cannon,” whether it was going from zero to a hundred at the flick of a switch, being slashed on accident playing road hockey and chasing him with a stick, or sitting on him while punching him for calling me names. During these conflicts, not once did he ever strike me back or try to cause me any harm; and still defended me when I got myself into trouble. After all these years, he’s now a foster parent, dealing with kids that have far more issues than I did. It takes a strong and caring person to be able to take the abuse, shrug it off, and keep on rolling with the punches.
I gave this entry the title “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace” for three reasons, one being his love for the Foo Fighters (as seen by the blog name), which has been contagious, the second being that he has these words tattooed up his arm from his wrist to the top of his shoulder, and third, it exemplifies him as a person to a tee. Whether it is working in crisis intervention, and sitting down and talking with someone who just attempted suicide, fundraising for a headstone for a murdered teenage boy so he could be honoured the way he should be, or simply being there for his brother at his low points. Furthermore, I cannot even recall a time that he has asked for help, complain about anything, or just needed somebody there for him. To highlight this remarkable human being, to deal with these individuals who have issues or haven’t had the privileges in life that we were blessed with, and to take that home with you day after day, and still push on when you know some won’t make it, just for that opportunity to make a difference in that person’s life and be that someone, to these lost souls, as a stepping stone in the right direction as our parents were for us.
I’ve always tried to push myself to be better than my brother, which has made me a better person because of it. I used to feel like we were in competition growing up, living in the shadow of my brother, but as I’ve grown older and wiser, I know now that it was more of a tow rope pulling me in the right direction, learning and growing from his mistakes and successes. And, I have learned from my mistakes, not telling people what they mean to you before they depart this life, so this is a tribute to my brother.
We may be 2526 kms apart, but I know at the drop of a hat that he’d be there for me, or anyone that desperately needed it.
I ask those of you reading this now, to raise a glass to Adam Driscoll. Love you my brother, Merry Christmas, and cheers!
Just wanted to stop by here for a minute and take the time to wish my old man Tommy Timber a Happy Retirement after 45 years of work. If you have ever met him, you know hes undoubtedly a GOAT candidate and an absolute perfect example of what people refer to as “A Beauty”. Love you Major Tom!! No one deserves it more than you!
Here is a video i sent to my brother for Tommy’s retirement party tonight.
****Warning* One F*Bomb at the end*****
Background on Name of Project: The project title is taken with blessing from one of the participants in the video, 18 year old Kiara Dumas, who lives in Thompson, Manitoba but her family is originally from South Indian Lake, Mb or O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation. Kiara was given her spirit name by a medicine man on her first visit to the sweatlodge just outside of Thompson, Mb. Kiara is an intelligent, young Indigenous woman who I believe will be a part of an Indigenous youth movement in the coming years to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.
For this creative project I wanted to create something that may be meaningful for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. I wanted to create something that allowed them to get to know one another. For many years, non-Indigenous and Indigenous people have both had preconceived ideas of what each group of peoples is all about, what they believe in, and what they stand for. Many times, both sets of peoples are given information that is incorrect, stereotypical, or only a one sided portrayal of how the history of Canada and its people came to be, instead of looking at the bigger picture and from various perspectives of truth.
Many non-Indigenous people have not been taught about the history of Indigenous people and the creation of Canada from an Indigenous lens, but rather have been taught in school how people of European descent recall history and how it all happened; much of what is being recalled throughout history being exaggerated or completely false and lacking emotion or empathy.
I feel as though sometimes people in this country simply just do not know about the real history of Indigenous people in Canada. Many people have never had the opportunity to be educated in Indigenous history and or culture as told by Indigenous people, or even had interactions with the various Indigenous people of this country. Sometimes yes, there are stereotypes, ignorance, and flat out hatred without even knowing one another’s story or what another person may be carrying with them along their journey. For many years this countries government did not even consider Indigenous people to be human beings. They were to share the land peacefully and productively together in peace through partnership and the Indian Act, but instead Indigenous people were colonized, oppressed, treated as lesser, sent to residential schools in an attempt to assimilate and kill Indigenous cultures and traditions, their children were kidnapped and adopted out to white families, and the list goes on. Much of this history continues today. The same oppression, assimilation attempts, and so on. Many people who are not Indigenous don’t realize the intergenerational trauma in which the Canadian Government throughout history has caused, the lateral violence, the abuse, violence, suicide, poverty, Indigenous people incarcerated, and so much more.
What I imagined this video to be was a starting point. A raw, informal, real and positive beginning to a conversation to Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people starting to understand one another, value one another, and see one another as equals and as human beings. My two main goals were to:
Start a conversation. I wanted Indigenous people and Non-Indigenous people to start a conversation, to get to know one another, to hear a bit about what Indigenous people are involved with and in, and a bit about their culture and tradition and experiences. I want non-Indigenous people to be curious to explore Indigenous peoples and their traditions, cultures and beliefs further, and to educate themselves with the truth, while leaving assumptions, stereotypes and ignorance behind. Doing this, I hope to help lessen the divide between people in this country, and create allies for equality, equity, and opportunity. I wanted to use this platform to transform privilege into equal opportunity for all.
I wanted to have something positive and visual for Indigenous kids and youth to identify with. I want Indigenous kids to see successful Indigenous people and role models that they can strive to be like. Much of the time social media and the media in general tend to focus on the negative aspects of Indigenous people instead of focusing on the numerous Indigenous people doing wonderful things for people from all walks of life in this country. I want Indigenous youth to be able to have the confidence to chase their dreams like the people in this video have and continue to do, to overcome obstacles, to relate to what other Indigenous people are saying, but most of all I want them to choose to stay alive and to love their life and look towards a better future; because this country is going to need them and they are going to be the ones soon enough to break their people free from the intergenerational trauma carried around and forward over the generations; ultimately the ones who will be restoring culture and tradition, equality, equity, opportunity to flourish, and the right to happiness.
I hope you enjoy this video. So many wonderful people offered to talk about themselves and their lives, and also helped put this together with me.
“It has to start somewhere; it has to start sometime, what better place than here? What better time than now?”- Zach de la Rocha; Rage Against The Machine
I hope this explanation is what you were looking for.
I have been waiting for the perfect moment to write about this guy. I have never met him in person, so I cannot say that I know him personally, but what I can say is that he is someone I look up to regardless of knowing him or not. Wab is now the new leader of the NDP in Manitoba. I don’t have a particular party that I reserve for my votes, rather I choose to take a look at the person as an individual before submitting a ballot. I can say that if he was ever in my riding, he would certainly get my vote, and if he ever runs for Prime Minister ( which I hope he does), I will certainly vote for the party he is running for. He deserved every bit to win the race for leader, especially against an opponent who was more focused on using the past in attempts to determine the outcome of the present; Wab could have certainly used the past as well to bolster his attempts to win the favour of the party though chose the higher road, and it paid off. Anyways, enough about politics, that’s not even the reason I like this guy so much.
I like this guy because he is endearing to people from all walks of life, but especially to Indigenous people all over our country, and I really like that. He also used to be a rapper, which seems hilarious looking at where he is now, but makes complete sense knowing that great rappers or artists in the hip hop scene are often quick witted and extremely intelligent people. I like that. He also worked for the CBC and did great things for them and for the people of this country in bringing informed and real information about the history of Indigenous people and Canada to the forefront in the 8th Fire series. I like that.
Wab is also an author, and if you have not picked up his book to read it yet, I strongly suggest you do. It is entitled ” The Reason You Walk” and it is a great read. I am about to pick it up for the second time because I think I need a recharge and I feel this book is good for ones soul.
The biggest reason I like Wab is because he is himself; or rather trying to be the best version of himself. I like that he is well spoken, I like that he is educated, and I really like that he is an advocate for Indigenous people, especially young Indigenous people. I enjoy listening to him speak about Indigenous issues because I never feel as though he is blaming people (like myself) for oppression, assimilation, and genocide of Indigenous people over the past several centuries; rather he is demanding that we become educated on Indigenous people and become part of the solution in the present that is equality, equity, truth and reconciliation. He identifies that together all of our people in this country are better, better united than divided and better as people who truly know and understand one another and celebrate our similarities as well as our differences. And don’t get me wrong, when he needs to put ignorant people in their place, I will certainly like that too.
I like that Wab is the guy out in his community, that he is a family man, that he is the everyday guy as well. That is very endearing to me. I like that he is a role model for young Indigenous kids wherever they are located in Manitoba, and hopefully around the country as well. He is a person in the public spotlight who kids see as a younger, non robotic political figure, who is real and honest and engaging. Kids on the rez can see this young man and say “I want to do that and I can do that”. Seeing positive Indigenous role models in the media or in person can alter young Indigenous lives for the better, at least in my opinion; and these positive people and stories of Indigenous people need to replace the negative stories that always seem to grab the headline or spotlight. Wab I feel gives people hope, and yeah you guessed it, I like that.
I could go on and on about this dude and I’m not even the most informed about him as whole, all that I know is that he is out in the communities, both south and north, and he’s a younger voice that this province and country certainly needs. Sometimes when you meet people in person that you have looked up to they may not meet your expectations, however, I feel like if I ever get the chance to meet this guy that will not be the case.
Sometimes your heroes are people you have never met in real life, hopefully one day I can meet him and let him know that as a white man of around the same age, that I look up to him, respect him and stand together with him as an ally for Indigenous people and for truth and reconciliation.
Thanks for being a solid person, using ones voice, and being the hero this country needs.
I’m with Wab for PM.
Before I write my next post (and I know it has been a while), I want to give a great big shout out to my old man on his 65th birthday today! He will likely never see this post, as I have stated before he is not down with the technology, but at least everyone else can see how awesome I think he is.
Tommy Timber is 2 months away from retirement, and as of January 2018 gets to spend all of his time with my mama, his dog Rylee, and his new granddaughter Kinsley. He has told me over the past couple months that he could likely get a part time job at Home Depot, where all old retired people go to work part time ( only he would actually know what he is talking about), or work part time as a Wal-Mart greeter. Both would be equally hilarious.
I am so thankful for my dad for the past 34 years. He was my first ever best friend, and my first ever hero I ever looked up to. He gave me a good gauge of what both should look and act like, which makes me so grateful, thankful, and fortunate to have the friends and mentors I do have and have had in my life.
Knowing that many kids don’t grow up with their fathers, or their fathers are not in the picture makes me even more grateful knowing that someone out there picked this man to be mine, and I do not take a single moment of it for granted.
Enjoy your day with all of your girls, and JD too!
Love ya old man,
I have been out of this whole writing thing for the past month now or so and as I always do, like a good Canadian, I will apologize relentlessly until you accept my apology. 🙂 I just finished exams and was on a vacation so naturally I did not feel like writing; I needed a break and I needed home, and I needed my family. But now I am here and now I am back; I have a whole list of new people to add to my already lengthy list. Some of these people I have met on my journeys, some I have not but regardless they continue to be heroes to me and to some other people as well.
I had been home almost a week and decided to watch an episode of The Therapist on Vice; specifically Laura Jane Grace, the frontwoman for Against Me! I first heard her amazing voice I think it 2009? I was lucky enough to see my favorite band Foo Fighters, and Against Me! opened for them. I went with my good friend TLP and Against Me! was already playing when we got there. Usually the band before the main act is average depending, but right away I was hooked. I know they definitely played STOP! and Thrash Unreal, and maybe one other song. This was before Laura Jane had announced to the world what she had known her whole life; she was transgender. I want to apologize yet again to the trans community and otherwise if I use the language or terms incorrectly; I’m still learning. Anyways, so I watched the episode of The Therapist with Laura Jane Grace and was blown away! I watched a few other episodes, but found this one to be the most “real” and inspiring; not because she was necessarily doing well, completely happy and living a seemingly easy life. It was actually the exact opposite at least in my eyes. To me, it looked as though she was quite sad, depressed, still trying to work out happiness; but she was completely and authentically herself. The most authentic I feel I have ever seen a person be. It was beautiful in a really heartbreaking way. Now she is truly becoming and being who she was meant to be, but with that carries a large amount of hurt and baggage with it I would assume. It is not very often you can feel real life pain through the screen of a tv or computer, but wow.
Gender Dysphoria is something that has come more to light in recent years, some people have been quick to negatively judge, others have been more empathetic. For me, as I mentioned above, if people are being their true authentic self, who am I to judge negatively or at all for that matter. There was a time in life I know I would have judged, but with age you become wiser I guess or something?
Anyways, I am not going to go on and on in regards to this topic because I am in no means an expert, merely an ally of authenticity.
Sometimes I think that for someone to be who they really are, it comes with a lot of pain, a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of second and third and fourth guessing yourself. Whether a person is straight, or gay, or trans or whatever label you decide to put or not put to it; being who you really are, the realest version of yourself will always come at a cost. Really though, isn’t it better to be who you really are and be miserable and in pain for a moment in time or maybe even long term instead of pretending to be the opposite? to be a fake, putting on that smile pretending everything is okay (sounds exhausting to me). I think for all of us, we should be continually looking for that moment to express “this is who the f*ck I am, deal with it or don’t”. Tough times don’t last, tough people do man! Everyone has some stuff they have to unpack once in a while or maybe quite often.
So this week for being a source of courage, showing what true bravery looks like, for rescuing herself, for trying to love herself, for attempting to outwork the doubt, for finding hope, and for living through it all as her authentic self (pain and all), Laura Jane Grace is my hero this week. Thank you for reminding to be myself at all costs, and to be empathetic in listening to others while they try to find themselves.
Thank-you for being a voice, for your voice and for putting it to music.