my name is Sonia Brownless.
I live in northern Alberta, rural to Slave Lake.
I am a mother to 5 beautiful children and married to Shawn Brownless. My heritage is Cree — I belong to the Bigstone Cree Nations band in Wabasca, AB. I am the oldest of 8 children of Bernie and Jane Carlson. Cree is my first language and I remember when I began to learn English. I was bonded and attached to both of my mothers parents, Harry and Agatha Alook. I learned who I was through my grandparents and where I belonged through our family. I live with my children on a small farm where I’ve home schooled my children, raised horses, dogs, cats and chickens. I love learning and playing with my horses, gardening, traveling and raising chickens. I’m deeply invested in raising my children to be who God created them to be.
I currently work as a massage therapist and prayer minister. My website is Harmonize Life Coaching and I have a Facebook page of the same name as well (links at the bottom of the page) My favourite thing to do is to help people heal. Heal their spirit, heal their hearts, and heal their bodies. I currently work with inner healing tools and life coaching tools with life coaching. I love to journey with people who are intentionally choosing to heal. I enjoy traveling to help minister to others, with others to hurting people and to growing in discernment. My other passion is growing and help others grow discernment and prophetic gifting. My heritage is Cree and being raised as a Christian. My parents invited Jesus into their hearts shortly after I was born. They have served and loved Jesus all of my life. They raised us to love God, to serve him with all of our life, to desire to grow in knowing him and what He is still doing today. They raised us with spiritual awareness of the Kingdom of God and His living word. They raised us to have a living relationship with God.
My mother was in the St. Martin's Catholic Residential school in Wabasca for all of her schooling. My father was not. He was raised in a small rural school on a reservation near the ranch where he grew up. When I was thirteen years old. I was sent away to live in a boarding home and attend Christian schools in Edmonton, AB. My parents hearts desire was that I would receive a good education, see life much differently than I would experience on a reservation, learn life skills and receive opportunities that I would not have otherwise. I didn’t see them much, only on special holidays during the school year. I would be home for summers. My sister and I lived in a Christian boarding home where we were loved to the best of their ability. However we also experienced a disconnect from our people, our language and our culture. They did not like us speaking Cree, on the phone or with each other. We were not allowed to have our friends or family visit much. It was years later while I going through my own inner healing, that I realized I went through secondary generational trauma from the residential schools. I very intentionally worked through the healing journey to allow healing to take place in me, for my family and generational line. I received so much healing from Jesus that my life was changed. I forgave my parents, my boarder parents, my family, and myself. God healed the many wounds, the generational trauma, the scars, the hurts, and the brokenness in me. I explored the trauma that was passed on to me through my mother, the stories of residential school, and I also forgave the church, the catholic agenda and the government policies that created this trauma. I worked through my own reconciliation journey for my own life, for my children and also for my own generational lines. Some of the things I received healing for were shame, grief, loss, abandonment, trauma from religion, fear of God, fear of spirituality, abuse and addiction patterns, broken relationships in mother to daughter, father daughter, brother and sister and sister and sister. I’ve spent the last 10 years healing me so that I can offer to my children, upcoming generations and others I meet different patterns. A pattern of love, of belonging, empathy, loving kindness, and compassion. Choosing to walking in bringing legitimacy and speaking truth about who we truly are. Intentionally creating belonging, creating legitimacy for my children, receiving belonging, creating intimacy, building and sustaining intimacy in family relationships and those I meet. Continually choosing to repairing relationship, repairing connections, restoring and healing generational family values, walking in high honour towards one another, breaking off the religious judgement and shame, and walking in freedom. There are so many details in my journey that I cannot share here. Please do contact me if you would like to hear them.
I believe as Indigenous people in Canada, we have the responsibility personally to walk through reconciling and healing the hurts for ourselves, then taking responsibility for our family, then to our calling and our purpose and then increasing that responsibility to our community, and then to our nations.
Walking in forgiveness and repentance for what was done to us and is being done still today. My personal belief is if we choose wisdom and honour the greater we will be lifted up into positions of authority, influence, and true leadership to lead our people out of the historical traumas that have been done to our people and breaking off those patterns of shame and abuse, trauma and grief and loss. It’s a very painful journey but so worthy of our investment of time and energy. It’s an investment that multiplies! We will be more united as the more each of us heals and restore to who we truly are and find our belonging, truly know we legitimately belong in who we are and who God made us to be. I believe we will shift our tribes. This is shift the systems that are tribes are enslaved under so that we can take more positions of leadership, influence, more positions of entrepreneurship, healing and service.
We as indigenous people have so much to offer that is stored deep in our spirits! Stored in the very cells of our hearts! If we do the deep work of repairing, healing our wounded spirits, healing our wounded hearts, and healing our family generational relationships, we discover who we truly are. We discover that we are truly resilient! We discover that we were not destroyed and cannot be! We discover we are mightier than could ever be imagined! My deepest desire is for our people to reconcile and heal their wounded spirit.
I believe our spirits carry the greatest treasure of who we are. I believe that God created our spirits to do and be incredible in the earth, that we are unique, that we have something to bring and to offer that is not offered by any other nation. I believe that we have the imprints of God within the richness and texture of our sound, our colours, our creativity, how we think, how we process, how we make decision, how we do family, how we do community, how we choose to heal the deepest hurts, and how we gather when others are hurting. How we offer and continually offer up care, love, belonging, relationship and connection.