Skip to main content
Christina Coolidge

Christina Coolidge

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

empty
Picture of boats and buildings
Language gives us the ability to communicate what is in our hearts and minds with others. Without that, it’s as if a piece of us ceases to exist.

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

My summer was busy and eventful. I opted to motor through a summer semester that proved to be challenging in its own right due to a persistently shining sun making it difficult to sit in a lecture hall rather than at the beach. I did manage to complete a successful semester, although I do admit to complaining a little more as I dragged my unusually heavy feet to classes and tutorials. The best was yet to come, however, as I ventured to Europe where I spent the last three weeks of summer.

I just returned on Sunday night, which was the 8th of September. I ventured to the United Kingdom on August 16 where I spent a week in Liphook. Liphook is a small village about forty-five minutes from London. I stayed with a longtime friend, his wife and his three-year old son. I had an amazing time meeting their friends and family, touring London and lounging at the local pub. From Liphook I travelled to Belgium, where I stayed in another small community with yet another longtime friend, his wife and their two children. I travelled to Antwerpen, a small city in Belgium, eating, what else, but Belgian waffles. They are completely delicious, by the way. And finally from Belium I flew to Copenhagen, Denmark, where I spent the remainder of my time.

My sister Mia, was born in Denmark. We have a complicated father who bore five children but raised no one. He was married to Mia’s mother in Denmark before he moved to Canada, so Mia is the eldest and this trip would be our first meeting. My time in Copenhagen was so much more than I could have ever expected. Mia and I are kindred spirits and after a few days, it felt like we had always known each other. We just connected, and truthfully it’s difficult to be home because she is so far away.

I am now experiencing the traveller’s blues, feeling slightly empty and wishing I was still spending time with my sister. My travels this summer were a long time coming as I always found a reason not to go, until I finally just made the call to a travel agent and booked my flights. I went without expectations and because of that, the entire trip was exciting and fulfilling.

As an Aboriginal person in Europe I wasn’t exactly surprised to discover how little knowledge many Europeans have in regard to Aboriginal people, other than the traditional elements. I described many times the residential school system and its affects and the continuing struggle with the Canadian government. Each person I shared this information with was open and also quite shocked to learn of the heinous nature of past and current difficulties surrounding the First Peoples of this continent.

For myself, my biggest lesson came in Copenhagen as I oftentimes struggled to understand what they were all saying as they spoke in Danish and sometimes felt isolated and uncomfortable when they weren’t speaking English. I know that this can not even be compared to the loss of language suffered by our Indigenous nations, however I got a tiny glimpse of what our people lost when they were stripped of their language. It seems such a small thing, language, because we take it for granted; especially English speaking people because the world speaks English. The world caters to English speaking people and while it was difficult for me at times because I couldn’t understand, they all still spoke English most of the time. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to lose such an inherent piece of one’s identity as language. Language gives us the ability to communicate what is in our hearts and minds with others. Without that, it’s as if a piece of us ceases to exist. At least, that’s what it felt like to me at times. I learned many personal lessons like this on my journey.

I made approximately sixty short videos during my entire trip and posted my video blog on Youtube for my friends and family to watch. That was fun and a new way for me to experience my journey. Meeting my family, coming to Denmark, learning some Danish, seeing old friends and making new friends, as well as having many amazing experiences made this summer one of my best. The lessons were many and the memories priceless and the gratitude I’ve gained in knowing how incredibly blessed I am will stay in my heart forever.

About the Author

Christina Coolidge

Christina Coolidge

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Christina Coolidge is currently attending SFU as a graduate student in the department of Communications. She is the Indigenous Program Researcher with the Career Services department. Christina is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and her matrilineal ancestry includes Metis (Cree and Scottish) from the Red River area. She hopes to help build a bridge between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities in order to better understand one another and to live together in a spirit of unity.

You Might Like These... Indigenous, Professional Associations, Career Exploration, Community Engagement

Fraser health banner
Fraser Health Focuses On Increasing Aboriginal Employee Base

Join our organization to help narrow the health gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal patients and residents by providing a better cultural fit within Fraser Health. 

Picture of the mountains and rivers
A Beginning

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 1 - A Beginning, Marilyn reflects the challenges arriving in a new city to begin her Co-op term.

Trees near a river
Adventures

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 2 - Adventures, Marilyn shares with us her first work-related road trip to Doig River First Nation.

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

Picture of boats and buildings
library_books
Blog
What Did You Do This Summer?
Indigenous, Life Experience, Life Balance, Personal Development

Welcome back everyone…how was your summer?

You Might Like These... Indigenous Co-op

Banner
How Creating Space for Indigenous Students Benefits You and Me

We must acknowledge autonomy for Indigenous Students in an academic setting, we are not in your classes to teach them, and we are not able to speak on behalf of every Indigenous community.

SFPIRG logo
SFPIRG: Truth-Telling and Decolonization

The Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group is a student-funded and student-directed resource centre dedicated to social and environmental justice. SFPIRG is founded on a set of values that have been developed by students who care about social and environmental justice, and include a commitment to the work of ending all forms of oppression.

Garwill Law: Wayne smiling
Wayne D. Garnons-Williams, BA, LLB, MPA

Garwill Law founder Wayne Garnons-Williams describes how he came to be inspired to practice law, and adds advice on how to hang out your own shingle.