“By Google’s definition, the real meaning of Pride promotes self-affirmation, dignity, and equal rights for all. Pride invites people from all walks of life to stop and reflect on what it means to be truly accepting and accepted, and the peaceful, positive effect this can have on the world”
In Iroquois tradition, the first story ever told is of Sky Woman descending towards the creation of Mother Earth as a flock of birds rise up to help her. Drumming its tail feathers into the wind, the common Snipe is a resourceful, energetic flyer. Found in the grassland marshes of St. Regis, Quebec, its dependence on the elements makes for a colorful diversity.
In a perfect world, Jade Thompson at 29 years old is a gatekeeper, representing the air element of their father’s Clan. Embodying the home and hearth of loving relationships is a peaceful soul willing to fight for another’s truth – yet a temperate stance once held them back in the years before independence.
Jade’s father, Darren Bonaparte, is a historian and storyteller. Serving as Akwesasne’s Tribal Historic Preservation Director, his adventurous personality opened many doors. As a child, Jade lived through this vision towards the openness of life. Across mountain valleys, lakes and streams, the rich offering of nature’s currency – rocks and pebbles – laid its foundation with pride.
Jade’s mother, Jennifer is a genuine, attentive person whose honesty and integrity Jade admires. Working as an RPN for many years, Jennifer’s compassion & heart knows no bounds in teaching Jade resilience in all things. Sharing a love of music, the two are known to carry their own at dance parties in Jennifer’s living room.
Through the Arts and culture of their father’s people, Jade split their time between Cornwall and living on the reservation. In both concepts, music and creativity held equal measure.
From 2014-2016, Jade worked towards a Fine Arts Degree at the Brockville Campus of St. Lawrence College. A creative consultant there with a working knowledge assisting individuals achieve their artistic, academic and wellness goals, supported Jade’s inner power to shine.
In a state-of-the-art community gallery, located at the front atrium of the Campus, Jade showcased their progress in being one with the natural world. In a bold statement, the curated collection of acrylic, oil, and ink won its due. In essence, the work sold itself. Being a young impressionable person, graduating at the top of their class was a wondrous offering to those following the Artist’s path.
In the colors of a summer day, a painter identifies their subject’s character based upon the wear and tear of one’s shoes. Just as a person’s character awakens the human experience, it is self-awareness where one finds their true calling. One summer, on the day of the celebration of America’s Independence (July 4th), Jade experienced an awakening. Identifying themselves as a non-binary, queer person, Jade was emotional but euphoric.
Being able to express joy amid other like-minded people opened the doors to a new way of being. Some of us live our whole lives not knowing who we are or where we belong. Others are unable to see their own blessings because of trauma or tilted foundations.
But the dreamers, who step off the treadmill towards hope, creativity and curiosity – these are Jade’s people. Knowing who we are allows us to take our place in the human experience. In the becoming, love untangles the knots so that hearts remain open.
In Cornwall’s LGBTQIA+ community, Jade’s rainbow colors bond our hearts together in arcs of brilliant light.
In March of 2021, Jade worked with husband-wife duo; Yafa Goawily & Kaiser Moussa in the Power Shine – Body Art exhibition. Standing in Jennifer’s kitchen and painted with Yafa’s hands in electric gold with smatterings of green, blue and white, Jade’s vibration was raised. Jade’s rainbow figure, contrasting their Kool-Aid colored blue locks, left shockwaves of iridescent punch across a brilliant green background.
To any and all who have ever set foot in Sharyn and Gary Thompson’s spice room – entire universes instantly transform through closed eyes and open senses. Standing proud and tall in the center of all good things is Jade’s work ethic. Anyone willing to work up a good sweat, either in or out of doors, says a lot about a person. Want to be inspired – ask them about it sometime.
Meeting life’s challenges with patience and forethought, members of the Snipe Clan learn at an early age that all living things are interconnected. And Jade, though not bearing that Clan title due to the nature of the Mohawks’ matrilineal society, was born of their own personhood and lives with an energy that is truly alive.
Inspiring new perspectives, Jade encourages friends to stretch their energies in fun & exciting adventures. Honouring with reverence the time spent working side-by-side with their grandmother in the Pantry, is Jade’s art rising up to greet us. Resiliency and love in all things. This is the legacy.
Wow! Great article!