Debwewin – Speaking Truths

Wab Kinew at CG.jpg-large

Image via @bradleyrbaker

I recently saw Wab Kinew speak to students at a local high school.

The findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are significant.  However, what do we do with them?

I could never properly do his presentation justice by attempting to summarize it here.  However, there were some important take-aways in his message to the students:

What can students do?

  • Start with the culture
    • Start from a position of strength
  • Learn the history
    • Next go to the more challenging aspects
  • Get involved
    • How might I get involved to make things better?
      • Hold government to account
        • make sure they make good on their pledge
      • Think local
      • If we want to change the country, we have to change the attitude
        • Listen before we speak
      • Honour, commemorate, hold them up
  • Commemorate
    • Plaques, sculptures, poems, Orange Shirt Day
    • National Day in commemoration of Residential Schools survivors???
    • Let’s not end with the trauma and pain, let’s remember the success stories
    • What a Time to be Alive
      • The past era was a mistake
      • Success of our present aboriginal youth is the best form of reconciliation
    • If we learn a little about one another and how each other lives, the better we can get along together
    • Learn from the strength of the past, learn from those who came before us,

Wab Kinew also, in responding to a question from a student about Kids in Care, advised that it is not an issue that is going to be resolved quickly, and it will take some time to reverse.  He stated that Child & Welfare needs to start collecting and publishing data, and that the Government needs to step up to fund support.  He also drew attention, as an example, to the “life changing efforts” at the University of Winnipeg which offers tuition waivers for children in care.

Here are some of his videos:

Soap Box: Wab Kinew

8th Fire Wab Kinew 500 Years in 2 Minutes

Surviving the Survivor

Wab Kinew is also a musician, and at the conclusion of his presentation he performed one last piece in response to a student’s request, “can you drop some bars….”  While not the piece he performed, here is an example of his work and message:

Good Boy