Tansi!! My name is Rhonda Head and I am from the OpaskwayakCree Nation in Northern Manitoba located in the Treaty 5Territory. I am the youngest of six siblings and my parents arethe late John Alfred Head and Hagar Head.I am pleased to be able to share my journey of trials andtribulations throughout my life with you. I have been fortunateenough to be able to achieve one of my goals ? to write a bookabout myself, my autobiography. This has given me the opportunityto continue to grow and share my experiences with you.I grew up on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation with my family. Iremember playing outside in the wilderness and not having anysupervision. I thought this was the most amazing time when I wasgrowing up. The connection to the land and nature was a part ofmy childhood and is always a good memory for me. I rememberall the other kids in the neighbourhood were right there with meplaying in the woods. Little did I know that we were not beingnurtured or properly supervised. And as I grew older, when Ispoke about my childhood with other members of Opaskwayakfrom different areas, they grew up the exact same way. We wereleft alone on the weekends, there was partying and we pretty welllooked after ourselves growing up, and we thought it was normal.It was certainly not my parents fault for the way we grew up, asthey both were shipped off to residential school, and the traumasthey faced haunted them for the rest of their lives.I always had this longing to leave the reserve and live in bigcities. I just didn't see myself living on the reserve all my life. I hadxiidreams of travelling, of meeting new people, and just wanting toleave. I made it a reality and left Opaskwayak when I was 16 yearsand moved to Winnipeg, MB. I completed my grade 12 fromthe University of Winnipeg Collegiate, and went onto Collegein Toronto, Ontario, fulfilling a childhood dream of attendingFashion School and living in Toronto. This is where I started myvocal lessons with an amazing vocal teacher who believed in me.When I graduated from college I moved back to Manitoba. Iattended the University of Winnipeg and that's when things turneda different route. My hearing started going, I couldn't retain anyinformation that I was reading and I started gaining weight. My bodybegan to swell. Because of my sister's impatience with me when Icouldn't hear what she was saying, I went to an Audiologist to get myhearing tested. From there I was referred to get an MRI. The resultswere devastating, I had a brain tumour and my world as I knew itwould never be the same again. My world was turned upside down.It took me a over a year to recover. The illness taught me thatlife is precious and it gave me motivation to follow my heart anddreams. It also taught me that to give up is the easiest thing inthe world to do.I've been a musician all my life; since I was eight years old Istarted playing piano, and when I was in Junior and Senior High Iwas in the school band playing the clarinet and alto-clarinet. I nowsing with an amazing choir one hour from my community, andrecorded three award-winning CDs and working on the forth one.This circle has allowed me to cross paths with some amazing peoplefrom all over the world. The music road has been good to me.I'm excited to share my journey, experiences, trials andtribulations. The path has been met with twists and turns,mountains and hills, and all kinds of weather. I hope to inspire,move and motivate. My journey continues and is not over yet.Kinanaskimotin ? I am thankful.