Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I have a voice. And I intend to use it.

Since emigrating to Canada, I've become interested in indigenous peoples' (also called first nations) rights. At the end of a really interesting mini conference about First Nations' issues, they were letting members of the audience go up to the microphone to make comments. I felt I had something to say. But would it come out the way I planned it in my head? I stood up and walked over to the microphone, more worried about muddling my words than than the fact I may stutter. "I have a voice," I thought to myself, "And I intend to use it." And then I spoke:

"Thank you everyone for a really enlightening experience. I have learnt a lot these past two days and am armed with facts and knowledge about first nations' issues. I have only been in Canada for a year now but already feel more informed than some people I speak to, many who repeat tired misconceptions about 'The Indians'. Well we will all know at least one person who is uninformed about these issues and I honestly believe that if every person here were to speak to just one person that we know, counter their misunderstandings then collectively we can make a big difference, and further progress can be made."

Singing a New Song: Creating a Renewed Relationship with First Nations, Spring 2013

With Robert Morales, Indigenous Human Rights & Aboriginal Rights Lawyer & Chief Negotiator at Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group

Photo credits- Kevin Doyle

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