Inspired by Canada‘s upcoming sesquicentennial, 150 Stories pays tribute to Canada‘s diversity, democratic principles and multiculturalism by telling the stories of remarkable Canadian individuals, organizations, initiatives and historic events.
In honour of National Aboriginal History Month and National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, we are proud to feature stories written by members of Canada's Indigenous communities.
“The Native concept of power is how much you can empower people around you. You bring them up to your level, you make them feel good, you make them feel strong, you make them feel confident.”
“My hope is we will forgive others and forgive ourselves, and that we will turn our minds to building the Canada envisioned in the early days of settlement, to build the Canada people dreamed of when they decided to adopt our lands as their homes.”
Metis people can have a foot in two worlds, and I believe we are here to help reconcile differences between people, cultures, time, space, and deep hurt.
“The thing is,” explains Voyageur, “is that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the indigenous community. A lot of what’s written isn’t flattering. This doesn’t tell an accurate story because there is a difference between opinion and fact. Discrimination is part of the school system, not part of change.”
“The Royal Proclamation is like a Charter of Rights for First Nations people that the federal government has to abide by,” Sol explains. “It provides recognition of all the inherent rights, especially recognition of title and of the sovereignty of the governments of our nations.”
As a Kanyen’keha:ka (Mohawk) woman and a long-standing active member of the Hamilton Urban Aboriginal Community, I also maintain ties to my home reserve, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Community is very important to me, as well as to Mohawk culture.
"...as an Indigenous person, I believe Canadians are hungry for change and are resisting xenophobic fears because they believe Canada can be a welcoming country."
Raising my children in a multicultural city like Richmond, BC, I never really had to explain racism to them, until the day they clearly witnessed that First Nations people are not treated the same as other Canadians.
My hope for Canada is that we strive to bring peace among our citizens with respect for each other and that our government works with our indigenous people in creating and implementing socio-economic initiatives that will take our peoples out of third world conditions.
While he is writing a thesis on the current indigenous funding gap as part of studies at the University of Regina, his day-to-day reinforces the need for equality. “You see the differences” remarks Evan quietly. “Let’s fund our kids.”
“I acknowledge my work as cultural activism,” Santee told the CRRF. “It’s an affirmation of Indigenous existence, culture and way of life.