How have you been affected by the legacy of residential schools?
My mother being a survivor and through the hardship that sheâ€™s encountered, I definitely carry a pain that she carries without the action being [done to] me â€¦ but in saying that she has also given me a strength to overcome things in my life.
Because she survived, I feel like I can survive.
Have you participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
Yes, in Vancouver last year they had that amazing walk. It surprised me. I felt overwhelmed that so many people had come out and heard about the TRC that were non-aboriginal. â€‹There were so many mixed cultures that were part of that walk and it was so welcomed. â€‹
Because when youâ€™ve gone through something that you feel ashamed for, even though you donâ€™t need to feel ashamed… to be so celebrated by the community was incredible to see.
How do you think the TRC has had an impact?
Youâ€™re surrounded by survivors, if youâ€™re indigenous. Theyâ€™re in your family, theyâ€™re your friends, they’re your uncles, your aunts, so you canâ€™t dismiss the impact that it has on the communities.
The feeling [at a TRC event] is that you get permission to speak. We [indigenous people] are working on finding our voice and now our voice is getting stronger and we are uniting.
And we are doing that in so many ways â€“ through teaching, through the arts, through journalism, through being advocates in your communities.
I feel that TRC is just a huge voice where people can go and share theirs and itâ€™s so heartbreaking but it’s so vital because we are not alone in that pain and that we share it is so necessary.
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