Human Rights

Importance of Education?!?!

Tonight, well…for the past few nights I have been thinking about what I should say or how I should say something to a group of people. The group of people are youth. The topic is the importance of education.

What is different about this group of youth is that they are Aboriginal youth. Well, you might think, “Yeah, well they are still youth. Youth are youth and they never really do anything unless they want to.” No, youth want to do things… like dream, have goals, and be happy.

For this group of youth, I don’t think I will have to motivate them because if they are at this gathering they already have the motivation to be THERE! And they have a desire to do different than what most expected from them–most being some Canadians and them being Aboriginals.

Yes, some Canadians hate Aboriginals. Racism still exist. Stereotypes still exist. Prejudice still exist. I grew up with it and I still witness it and am sometimes directly affected by someone’s racist actions and words.

Heck, even someone said I was “ignorant” for one of my posts titled “Stuff White People Like Do”. Ironically enough, it was a white person who was telling me this. Perhaps he missed the point of the overall post and only focused on one point rather than the whole message.

Anywho, I came across this opinion piece titled Why Aboriginal Education is Our Business in the Globe and Mail.

I like how this piece tells its readers that education “inspires young people.” My belief is that if a youth can dream, a youth can be inspired.

But how do you tell Aboriginal youth the importance of education, when some of them don’t even have a school to attend. Just take a look at Shannen’s Dream.

And how do you tell Aboriginal youth the importance of education, when as Urban Native Girl posted on her Facebook page,

‎”Only 8% of Aboriginal people aged 25 to 64 in Canada have a university degree compared to 23% of non-Aboriginals of the same age group.”

And how do you tell Aboriginal youth, the importance of education when Aboriginal history and culture is almost completely removed from curriculum/education plans. Aboriginal people–the first peoples of Canada.

I believe my greatest challenge next week will be to inspire an entire group of Aboriginal youth the importance of education but only because Aboriginal people including Aboriginal children do not enjoy this supposed basic Canadian right. In the year 2011.

And if I can’t inspire the entire group, I shall work towards inspiring at least one.

More to come on this journey!

Look at the whole picture: It’s not all about you & it’s not all about me.

So this evening/AM, I am unable to sleep.

I have been thinking about a lot of stuff lately, especially my Letter to the Editor. I know that I would receive some personal emails and viewpoints that I would not agree with. It’s kind of stressful, but I am dealing with it. I am just glad that nobody blatantly said something racist or racial (because that stuff really does hurt).

I did receive one letter in which the writer explicitly stated: I don’t want to pay for anything that happened in the past.

Today, I was fortunate enough to meet with someone today at school from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. During this meeting, it was brought up that foreigners/outsiders to Canada see this country with three characteristics. These three characteristics are:

  1. Nature
  2. French
  3. Aboriginals

In response to this letter, I said to this writer:

It has nothing to do with me and you, it has to do with Canada and how the rest of the world views Canada. I just had a meeting today with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: I was informed of three characteristics in which foreigners view Canada:

  1. Nature
  2. French
  3. Aboriginal

So these social supports in place, are there to make Canada look more attractive to outsiders. Outsiders see Aboriginals in Canada. If they see them being mistreated by years of injustice, (injustices that have been committed before you were ever born and that continued until I was born and still today), then they wont be likely to come Canada. When you begin to look at the picture as a whole, and not just me and you, you will realize it has nothing to do with you or me.

Yup, I should have just said Thank you for your letter, but I couldn’t. It bothers me that people can’t look at the whole picture. It’s not all about you and it’s not all about me.

Phil Fontaine @ UWO

I am soooooooo excited about this event! The only thing I am not so excited about is that it is also on the same night as a different event 😦

Here are the details for the event…

Who: Phil Fontaine
Where: UWO Faculty of Law, Room 38
When: March 3, 2011 @ 7:30pm
Why you should go: It’s Human Rights! Everyone should be concerned about Human Rights! Plus it’s free…but that shouldn’t be your only reason to go 😉