A car accident in 2015 helped Alicia Morrow find her voice and regain her culture. Now she is helping Indigenous people share their stories of resilience.
The Regina woman and member of Peepeekisis Cree Nation started The Comeback Society three years ago. It started as an online platform and clothing brand, and has evolved into a non-profit and a podcast, run by her and her sister Lexie Obey.
“Our history of cultural genocide and oppression has really left a lot of Indigenous people kind of wondering where do they fit in, where do they belong?” said Morrow.
The podcast shares stories of inspirational Indigenous people, and of urban Indigenous people like Morrow who are reclaiming their roots.
Morrow and her sister, Obey, didn’t attend ceremonies or learn about their Cree culture and language growing up.
Morrow said it wasn’t until university that she learned who she was.
“How I did it was I found a community centre that I knew that my mushum had worked for, and I went there and I just offered to volunteer my time,” said Morrow.
While volunteering at All Nations Hope, she was invited to events and adopted by a group of women through a kinship ceremony.
“It was such a daunting time in my life before I was on my reconnecting journey,” said Morrow.
“I was not really feeling wanted or have a place or a home.”
5:26The Comeback Society: Sask. podcast and non-profit provides space for Indigenous people to share their comeback stories
As she begin to learn about her traditions and attend ceremonies, she wanted to share stories of resilience and reclamation, or “comeback journeys,” through a podcast, like the oral based knowledge system of many Indigenous peoples.
“It kind of reconnects with the stories that we would have told each other around our grandma’s and grandpa’s and our auntie’s and uncle’s kitchen table,” said Morrow.
“We have a lot of viewers who tell us that it actually is like they’re sitting with us, laughing with us, hearing stories.”
Season three of the podcast launched this week.
Morrow, Obey and Kayla Rosteski-Merasty also host cultural, storytelling and entrepreneurial workshops to provide opportunities for others to find the power of their stories and traditions. They also incorporate knowledge learned from Cree language courses.
Morrow said it can be hard for people wanting to learn more about Indigenous identity to know where to look.
“There are so many other people who are like me and I just wanted to be able to create something that other people could relate to,” said Morrow.
She said she hopes the podcast normalizes these conversations, while the workshops offer ways to connect.
Her advice for others wanting to start learning more about their Indigenous culture is to call their band office or to seek spaces with ongoing cultural events like local community organizations.