I first learned of the Kasàlà at the local women’s center. The teacher spoke French while a personal translator helped me. I found the experience so moving, I, along with others were brought to tears while we each shared our work. I felt there was something healing and special about this form of Praise Poetry. The piece I wrote that night brought me to tears on the drive home, a deep soul wound, a cry that came from the depths of my soul and I yearned to know more. Upon arriving home, I searched for the Kasàlà school online and within days I had spoken with Jean, and immediately signed up for classes from the master himself.
I work with First Nations people in a Residential Treatment Center. I plan to take what I have learned and incorporate it into the work I do. As First Nations People who’ve experienced Generational Trauma, healing can take many forms. To me Kasàlà is a gift, with written words, pen and paper, Kasàlà has the ability to take you to an unexpected place. Listening to others speak their Kasàlà, I was amazed at its ability to transform my mind and soul with just a few words. Giving permission, as a way of speaking about myself that society had not deemed natural. A way of praising myself, my nation and the strong names that make up who I am. I am of the First Nation, Mi’gmaq Nation. Kasàlà asks us to look at where we have come from, what place greeted us in our birth, what other nations curse through my veins? Doing the research brings pride at how unique and special my life is. There is no words grand enough to show my gratitude for Kasàlà coming into my life, but I plan to share it, so that others can benefit from it. I would love to bring it into the English Schools one day so that the children can continue believing in their worth, before society washes it away.