Mistreatment of Natives in Canada

Something that isn’t globally covered is the mistreatment of Natives by Canadians. With Canadian Thanksgiving having just passed and American Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to remember that the land we live on is not ours.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a youth conference in my city. The conference consisted of a keynote speaker, and workshops on gender and sexuality, oppression, discrimination, and power.

The keynote speaker, Jules Koostachin, is a filmmaker and daughter of a residential school survivor. She uses her films to show the long lasting trauma residential schools have left in her community, while also showing the light hearted and loving parts of the Aboriginal community that the media usually does not focus on. Jules shared with us how hard school was for her, how she never felt that she was smart enough, or smart at all. I feel this is something a lot of youth can relate to, and seeing someone who is so successful share stories of how she felt she would never make it was incredibly inspiring.

Jules also spoke of how oppression is not a competition, and we should not be trying to compare hardships, but instead share our stories in an effort to help each other heal.

Jules shared with us a heartwarming film she made about her youngest sons who are twins, and how the relationship between being a twin and being Native intersect. You can watch that film here. You can learn more about Jules and find some of her other films on her website.

Here is a link to learn more about residential schools, and here is a link on reconciliation, what we as settlers must do to help heal the divide.

 

By Nadya

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