“There was so much grief, pain, and loss of identity,” Mehreen Nasser recalls when she first embarked on a healing journey with the Grassy Narrows First Nation community, a community that resides near the border between Ontario and Manitoba.
In early November 2019, Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro presented 18 year old Jordanian Canadian Yamaan Alsumadi with the 2019 Youth Leader Award, one of six Community Safety Awards granted each year, for her work as co-president of the city's Regional Multicultural Youth Council.
As Muslims in Canada watch coverage of the people of New Zealand showing support and solidarity with local Muslim communities after the terrorist attacks against two mosques in New Zealand, they have also been learning more about the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand, the Maori.
When engaging in charity, we often think of people in other countries around the world as the only ones in need of humanitarian help. We ignore the needs of people - specifically the Indigenous communities - in Canada. The living conditions of Indigenous communities in Canada are as bad, if not worse, than many poverty-stricken communities in underdeveloped countries.
Humility is a great teacher, if we let it do its work. As a community figure committed to equity and social justice, I strive to continuously learn and often, that means learning from my own mistakes, however embarrassing.
Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, “to kill the Indian in the child.” Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, official apology, June 11, 2008