This Warrior of Change is a student from University of Manitoba and employee of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. His main social interest is around Indigenous language revitalization, land reclamation, water protection, student advocacy and 2Spirit/Indigequeer resurgence.
1.- Why is the work you do important?
It is essential that Indigenous people have access to spaces that allow for them to relearn their native tongues. Due to the impacts of colonization on the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, a lot of our traditional knowledge systems are lost or hindered, including their base – language. In order for Indigenous peoples to have opportunities to reclaim their culture and teachings, it is vital that our people are able to learn on and from their lands as this is where our epistemologies, ideologies and methodologies were birthed. To further free Indigenous people from the shackles of colonialism, it is important that Indigenous people have access to education that helps them regain awareness and understanding of their histories and ways of life. Being an Indigenous queer person, or 2spirit, it is my hope that I can aid in the resurgence of Indigenous sexualities, genders and love.
2.- What inspired you to work for social change?
It is extraordinarily rewarding to be able to work and learn with community. Being able to be a part of a fabric that works towards positive change for marginalized persons is empowering and inspiring, and absolutely essential in creating a future where all members of our society can thrive.
3.- What brought you to activism?
Growing up experiencing intergenerational trauma and other colonial derivatives, it was hard for me to reek the benefits of living a good quality of life. Having to see my people suffer every day drives me to work towards change so that in the future our children and their children don’t have to be subject to so much hardship.
4.- Why is your work so important right now?
Indigenous people continue to die and lose themselves at the hands of systems that were designed to thieve them of their liberties, rights and freedoms. For as long as Indigenous people perish, this work will always be important.
5.- Tell us about the social work you have done?
I did help in the creation and development of a nationally recognized campaign called ReconciliACTION. This campaign focuses on Call to Action #16 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Recommendations, which calls upon post-secondary institutions to develop degrees and diplomas in Indigenous languages.