Lorena Fontaine

Biography

Lorena Fontaine is from Sagkeeng First Nation which is about 45 minutes outside of Winnipeg. She also considers the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, as home, as this is where her mother is from.  Lorena’s mother went to three different residential schools, starting from the age of three. These included St. Albans, All Saints and Elkhorn.

For Lorena, the importance of sharing the stories with the other filmmakers on this project was powerful in that she was able to tell her story and have it acknowledged by other women who had gone through similar experiences.  Until that point, no one had ever asked her what she had experienced as a child or about the complexities about her relationship with her mother. It lifted a big burden that she had been carrying since she was a very small child.

Her video focuses on her journey into motherhood. When she found out she was pregnant, Lorena was terrified. She felt she didn’t have any mothering skills. She also felt she didn’t have any historical knowledge of her people nor her Aboriginal language to provide her daughter. What she found in going back home and speaking to her mom and other mothers is that collectively Aboriginal women have carried the culture of birthing.