From Stilettos To Moccasins

A song and music video entitled From Stilettos to Moccasins was developed from the findings of a research project that examined the role of identity and stigma in Aboriginal women’s healing from illicit drug abuse in Canada. The song was written in 2009 by Aboriginal women who are healing from illicit drug abuse and problems with the law, and those who are helping them on their journeys.

It is sung by Violet Naytowhow, a Cree singer/songwriter and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards nominee from Prince Albert, SK. The video is directed by Mae Star Productions in Saskatoon, SK. An accompanying discussion guide is currently under development. For more information on the project, please visit:http://www.addictionresearchchair.com This project is based on a partnership among the University of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation.

Lyrics
I survived through the pain
Many emotions like waves
Laughing and crying again and again
Honesty, strength, friends and devotion
Showering gifts of hope to reclaim

Walking the streets dragging my heart
Wandering with my head held down in shame
When and how did my family fall apart
Who am I, what is my name?

BRIDGE
Surviving the street lost and alone
I started a journey to find my way home

CHORUS
From stilettos to moccasins
Our spirit dances within
On our way to resolution
We find our peace
And this is who I am

Broken barriers and new discoveries
My spirit I now reclaim
Coming home to who I am
Taking honour in my name

No longer a prisoner lost in this world
Look within my shell
To find that pearl

CHORUS
From stilettos to moccasins
Our spirit dances within
On our way to resolution
We find our peace
And this is who I am

© Violet Naytowhow & the CIHR Project Research Team Aboriginal women drug users in conflict with the law: A study of the role of self-identity in the healing journey.

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