Ancestry & Indigeneity

Tansi! She:gon! Kwe-Kwe!

Kwe’ Ni’n Teluisi Ashley Grenstone, I am a person of mixed settler/colonizer and Indigenous ancestry born on Unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin Traditional Territory in what is colonial referred as “Ottawa, Canada” on August 15th, 1989 (according to the colonial ‘Gregorian’ calendar system).

I was raised apart from any Indigenous community, my immediate family and I moving across ‘Turtle Island’ throughout my childhood, youth and young adulthood. I am a person of white-passing privilege and it reflects in the minimal ways I experienced discrimination while navigating/interacting with different systems of society and power such as education, healthcare and law-enforcement.

In an effort to retrace my steps towards community I am continuing the life-long process of learning and unlearning through various frameworks of theory and practice. Several examples include: community accountability, decolonization, equitable non-monogamy, accessibility, anti-oppression, anti-violence against women & 2S persons, anti-racism, inter-generational, intersectional; and, numerous frameworks not yet listed.

The “Ancestry & Indigeneity” tab as well as

  1. What is the ‘Indigenous Identity’ section about and why does it exist?

There are several reasons:

  • If ever the validity of my claim to Indigenous ‘authenticity’ (or through the colonial apparatus of deciding who’s who based on “blood quantum”), I want to have all the information I have about myself available for review here. I am not interested in convincing people nor do I seek to put peoples concerns to rest. If you think I’m a fraud who’s harming Indigenous self-efficacy, please, follow your gut instinct and I’ll support those efforts

  • If ever the validity of my relation or ‘claim’ to Indigenous ‘authenticity’ comes into question (Or people use the colonial apparatus of “Blood Quantum” to decide who’s who)

“Theory Drives Us, Practice Defines Us”

Ashley Grenstone, 2009

May 15th 2021

My name is Ashley Grenstone, and I come from a mix of settler-colonial and First-Nations ancestors. I am at the moment, trying to figure out whether I should be calling myself ‘2-Spirit’ or Indigiqueer out of respect for those persons who’s identification as 2-Spirit had/has meant a significant involvement with community and leadership. Whereas I have been using it as an ‘identifier’ and that far outweighs any community involvement I have had the opportunity be a part of thus far.

My Dad’s side of the family is supposedly English, Irish, German and Austrian though I have no records under my own keeping at the moment to confirm that small information, or expand on that information.

My mom’s side of the family is French, Bonnechere Algonquin First Nation, and ‘Metis’ Mi’kmaq. I know my grandfather and some extended family members have done research in an effort to trace back our ancestry, but just as was the case with my dad’s side, I do not yet have any such records under my own keeping to confirm or expand on these details. I hope to change that as time progresses.

I am a transgender woman who’s name is of her own choosing/making. My birth name, to me, is dead, and will not be used here in full. I will share that it started with an ‘M’, and that my original family name was ‘Barnes’. The sir name ‘Barnes’ comes from my dad’s side of the family, while ‘Gaudette’ was my mother’s original last name.

Notes removed from the land acknowldgement page:

Algonquin communities in eastern ‘Ontario’ like Kitigan Zibi, Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, Bonnechere Algonquin First Nation make up in part the Confederation of the Anishinabek Nation.

, of which my ancestry to the Bonnechere Algonquin First Nation as non-status members

who are currently negotiating a land claim with the federal government under amalgamation of ‘Algonquins of Ontario’, or AOO.


my mixed ancestry’s closet ties are with the latter, under the Bonnechere Algonquin First Nation.