By Chevi Rabbit, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – In a world where advocates and change-makers leave their indelible mark, one individual is standing out with unwavering strength, grace, and resilience.
Meet Yarrow Currie, who goes by she/they pronouns, a member of Montana First Nation. Her early years were shaped by the tragic circumstances that led her to Alberta Child and Family Services. Yarrow’s journey embodies experiential learning, resilience, and an unshakeable commitment to a brighter future.
In a recent interview, Yarrow shared her inspiring path and her participation in the “Walk a Mile in a Ribbon Skirt (WAMIR)” event on October 28, at Edmonton City Hall. Last year, she spoke at WAMIR alongside Rachelle Venne of Institute for Aboriginal Women, former AFN Regional Chief Marlene Poitras, and Ashley Callingbull-Rabbit.
Currently, Yarrow is embarking on a career in the trades, beginning her first-year welding apprenticeship in Nisku, Alberta. She completed a four-month program called Journey to Trades at Women Building Futures, designed to prepare students for success in entry-level construction trades apprenticeships.
In the realm of 2Spirit advocacy, Yarrow previously held a national youth representative role with 2Spirits in Motion! Society. Recently, she joined CBRC’s Two-Spirit Program, Knowledge 2eekerS (Knowledge Seekers), a research learning program for Two-Spirit individuals working in community-based research.
Yarrow’s journey began with the tragic loss of her mother, underscoring the widespread issue of domestic violence that often plagues Indigenous reserves. Yarrow recounted, “My mother passed away in January 2002, a victim of an abusive relationship as she tried to escape. I grew up hearing this from my late auntie, her sister.” This personal experience highlights the pressing need for support systems to empower vulnerable women who often suffer in silence.
“I want to advocate for my late mom, Cheryl, and her experience with domestic violence, as well as my late brother, Mitchell, who was unarmed and tragically shot by the police in February 2022,” Yarrow passionately conveyed.
Recent developments in the fight against gender-based violence, including a bilateral agreement between the Federal and Provincial governments, underscore Alberta’s need for funding to address gender-based issues. This landmark funding agreement, totaling $54 million over four years, will play a pivotal role in shaping and implementing a unique 10-year strategy tailored to Alberta’s specific needs. It sheds light on families like Currie’s, who are affected by these tragic situations, emphasizing the urgent need for change.
Yarrow has also contributed to the not-for-profit sector in the Wetaskiwin area, collaborating with organizations like Katimavik and the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum. These experiences have deepened her commitment to advocating for change and fostering empowerment.
Yarrow’s perspective on education is equally unique. She believes that education transcends the confines of traditional classrooms. Instead, Yarrow promotes experiential learning as the key to empowering Indigenous youth and connecting them with the richness of their histories and cultures, rooted in First Nations traditions, which is a path toward decolonizing education.
But Yarrow’s uniqueness doesn’t end here. She is also a Cree yoga instructor, combining her advocacy with the healing power of yoga. Her Cree Yoga initiative raises awareness about the experiences of Indigenous women and the impact of domestic violence while promoting physical and mental well-being. By blending Indigenous culture with yoga practice, Yarrow creates a space for healing, remembrance, and self-discovery.
Yarrow’s vision for the future is one of action, especially in light of the high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women, as reflected in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She is planning a Cree Yoga fundraiser event to honour her late mother on May 5th, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Awareness Day. Yarrow actively seeks the support of not-for-profit organizations to turn this vision into reality.
This event is not just about raising awareness, she says, it also aims to provide a platform for healing and remembrance.
Concluding the interview, Yarrow discussed that, like many other Indigenous children raised in Child and Family Services, she is learning that she qualifies for compensation due to the abuse experienced during her time in foster care. She emphasized the need for support in navigating this compensation process.
For more information on the Caring Society, you can visit their social media accounts (Twitter @CaringSociety, Facebook /CaringSociety, Instagram @spiritbearandfriends). Stay informed about the compensation process, and join Yarrow Currie on her journey to advocate for Indigenous families affected by gender-based violence and domestic violence, all while promoting healing through the power of Cree Yoga.