|Posted on 26 January, 2017 at 23:00||comments (1)|
When you know you have healed and devote the rest of your life to inspiring others. Grade 7 students were asked to write about people who inspire them and have made an impact and positive change in their community and deserve to be on a Canadian stamp. Here is one of two write ups a teacher showed me today:
"I would like to nominate an Aboriginal representative named Luke as a candidate to be on a Canadian stamp. Luke is a kind hearted and greatly appreciated individual at my school Alex Hope elementary. On Thursdays every morning he introduces himself and where he comes from in his native language. After recess he comes to my classroom and enlightens my classmates and I on his family's past and history and his culture. Luke often reads to my peers and I as well. I feel honoured that Luke is choosing to spend his time with my classmates and myself. I truly enjoy and value what he does for our school. Not only does Luke share himself at my school but I am also aware that he does spend time at James Kennedy as well. I believe what he is doing for our schools is amazing.
When Luke first began speaking on the announcements over the intercom, our school was told that our parents were not able to enjoy and acknowledge his culture like my generation is able to today. Because of this I am very grateful for these Thursday morning experiences with Luke.
Luke really gives a strong impact on my way of thinking and really inspires my classmates and I from his encouraging words towards us. I genuinely believe that Luke should be on a Canadian stamp to show Langley schools gratitude towards what he does."
|Posted on 9 December, 2016 at 20:50||comments (0)|
My talk will be about a journey through reconciliation and rebuilding relationships. It will be a great day to honour my Mom, the Elders, my Kwantlen First Nation family and those who went to Indian residential schools. Tickets for the event are available here:
|Posted on 18 March, 2016 at 22:10||comments (0)|
Newly appointed senator by Prime Minister Trudeau: Justice Murray Sinclair. "We are not here to heal Indigenous people, we are here to heal as a country."
|Posted on 24 February, 2016 at 10:10||comments (1)|
On February 19th I spoke in front of 1,200 educators for the Langley school district about stories of reconciliation. Here is what I had to say:
Hello everyone. My ancestral name is wiyé.nox, which means “man of sound”, and my English name is Luke Dandurand. I am an Aboriginal support worker at three elementary schools at Alex Hope, James Kennedy and Topham. I am from Kwantlen First Nation, which is located in Fort Langley beside the Fraser River. Our family and ancestors have been living there for thousands of years, before contact we were one of the strongest groups numbering at 10,000. Kwantlen territory once reached all the way out to New Westminster. The lowest we had ever reached was 60 and now in 2016 we have 273 members with 274 on its way.
As the man of sound I am hear to share stories of reconciliation with you. As the man of sound I am speaking for the Elders who are no longer here. As the man of sound I am speaking for the 6000 children who never made it home. As the man of sound I am here to speak for my mother who was apart of the train of tears. For a young man I met in Ottawa at the closing events for Truth and Reconciliation where he told me his mother is part of the murdered and missing Indigenous women. His mother has been missing for 33 years and he still believes with all his heart she is still alive. He still believes he will get to hug his mother just one more time. I am here as the man of sound to let you know about an Inuit woman who was in Ottawa at the Truth and Reconciliation events and how she spoke about how proud she was to be the first in four generations to raise her own children and not let someone else do it for them. As the man of sound I am here to tell you the stories of my Uncle George. He was one of the first men to break the code of silence. He was one of the first men to tell the truth. He was one of the first to tell it like it is. Our hereditary Chief Marilyn Gabriel was the one who listened to my Uncle’s stories about his experiences at residential schools every morning at our band office. Every morning my Uncle would walk down Glover road and stop at Wendell’s for his newspaper and coffee. Every morning our hereditary Chief Marilyn Gabriel would tell her husband Kevin I can’t be late. I need to be at the band office, George will be there waiting for me. It’s very important and I cannot miss it. From there Uncle George broke the code of silence, from there the truth was told. From there just like many of us here, we carry that heavy burden on our shoulders and in our heart. From all those mornings and all those stories shared, Chief Marilyn said George. From everything you told me what do you want the people to know? What do you want them to understand? He turned to her and said “I hope that one day people will gather around and have a ceremony for those who didn’t make it home to their mother and father. If that can happen one day, then maybe one day I will be able to heal also. Sadly my uncle like many others across Canada never really got to fully heal from the historical and generational trauma of Indian residential schools. My uncle was murdered and shot to death in his own home at Kwantlen, three houses over from where I live. So when we hear stories like that, which is just one of many of thousands of stories. You have to ask yourself what does reconciliation look like? It is our Kwantlen family, our Kwantlen nation accepting the fact the person who murdered my uncle has received only a 2-year prison sentence and as a family we are trying to move forward, as we continue this journey of healing and reconciliation.
Ladies and Gentlemen today we are here to honor my Uncle George; today we are here to fulfill his wishes of what he once asked our hereditary Chief Marilyn Gabriel, for people to gather and talk about truth and reconciliation. Today we are here to honor that young man in Ottawa who still believes his mom is still alive. We are here today to honor that Inuit woman who was so proud and happy to be the first in her family to raise her own children on her own. We are here today to honor my mother Tsakwiah, she who always remembers.
Now that was the hidden past, now it’s all about the future. So what does reconciliation look like in 2016? Reconciliation looks like all of us here today moving forward in a healthy and supportive way. Reconciliation is acknowledging our hidden past history. Reconciliation is recognizing this is not an Aboriginal problem, but a Canadian problem. Reconciliation looks like a Non Native French boy in Grade 5 doing his heritage fair project on the history of the Indian residential schools. When asked why he wanted to do it on that topic, he said “my parents help me with everything, I wanted to do one thing on my own, I wanted to do a project where my parents wouldn’t be able to help me, I wanted to do a project on a topic where my parents knew absolutely nothing about it. The silence is broken and the truth is out there.
What does reconciliation look like in 2016? It is a grade 4 Jewish boy asking my mother a residential school survivor. “Would you relate what happened to you and the Aboriginal people as the same to what happened to the Jewish people and the holocaust?” The answer is yes, young man, the answer is yes. The Truth and Reconciliation commission and Aboriginal people refer to that as...genocide. The silence is broken and the truth is out there.
What does reconciliation look like in 2016? Reconciliation is a grade 3 teacher asking her class at James Kennedy “where are we?” And a student raising her hand and saying, “Well we are actually at James Kennedy but in fact we are on Kwantlen’s territory.” That my friend is what reconciliation looks like, acknowledging the territory we are on. Now I know and understand some may be a bit fearful of the new changes ahead with the new curriculum and all the efforts put forward by the school district for truth and reconciliation. But sometimes when we are scared, sad, confused or even angry. We can always look to our children and our students for the answers. They will let you know where we are, they will understand that this is a situation that needs to be handled with compassion, kindness and love. They will understand that they are our medicine. They will understand they are our future leaders.
The Anishinabee have a teaching called the 7 prophecies or 7 fires. In the 7th, the people are returning to their traditions, the Elders are waking up their old knowledge and the old ways. But here’s the catch! They have to be invited to speak and must be treated with dignity and respect. If enough people seek the truth, if enough people break the silence, if enough people acknowledge our past history, if enough people no longer turn their heads to my families and other Aboriginal problems, if enough people ask for help and seek balance. If enough people take the time to listen and if enough people find reconciliation. Then this, my friends will be the energy needed to light the 8th fire.
The 8th fire is when we as a human family finally find enlightment. It is when the world as we know it now comes to an end. What arises is a new way of living, a new way of teaching and a new way of interacting with the plants, animals and all our relations. Our Kwantlen family, Our Katzie family, Our Matsqui family, the Elders, the Aboriginal support workers, our Aboriginal program, and the school district believe that the 8th fire has already started. We believe that a lot of the people gathered here have already begun to feel that flame flicker to life within them selves.
We believe that you are one of those people. Be honest, be respectful, be good to your body and be kind to others. Stand, speak, and share. Let the light of your truth shine from you and let the fire spread. There is no need to be fearful, there is no need to be sad and there is no need to be scared of change. We believe in you and know that you can do it. The 8th fire will never burn you; it will only warm you and light the way. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is wiyé.nox and I am the man of sound. I am here today to let you know that the silence is finally broken and reconciliation is here. Thank you.
|Posted on 23 February, 2016 at 10:10||comments (0)|
Me: Mom, what do you think about when 1,200 people will listen to us speak about the effects of residential schools and Truth and Reconciliation throughout the weekend?
Mom: I think its great and it needs to be said. But we need it the most.
Me: Why is that?
Mom: It will help us stay busy and give us the medicine we need for Dad's anniversary the day after.
Me: I love you Mom.
Mom: I love you too son.
|Posted on 5 February, 2016 at 19:05||comments (0)|
What does reconciliation look like? It's a GRADE 3 Non Aboriginal boy saying "We are reaching out our hands to honour the Aboriginal people. If we keep on doing it, their broken hearts will mend and they will feel peaceful and happy in Canada." As an adult if you are ever confused, angry or even sad, remember the children are our medicine and they have the answers. a::seyem
|Posted on 31 January, 2016 at 17:50||comments (0)|
As a kid in Quebec I was picked on during the Oka Crisis. During Idle No More I read all those online racist remarks about my people. I was there in Ottawa when the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation was read about the residential schools my family attended. Life is a beautiful struggle, lets see what happens next.
|Posted on 23 January, 2016 at 17:45||comments (0)|
February 19th I will be a keynote speaker with Ojibway author Richard Wagamese.
When Joseph Boyden calls "Richard Wagamese a national treasure" You better believe it's time to step up your game. Friday, February 19th I will be presenting local stories of reconciliation, the history of Kwantlen First Nation's territory, along with a few thoughtful and inspirational Aboriginal cultural teachings. This will be for the Langley School District's Professional Development Day, as 1,200 educators are expected to register and attend.
|Posted on 23 January, 2016 at 14:25||comments (0)|
February 19th and 20th I will be hosting and DJing the Wab Kinew events here in Langley.
With his back ground in hip hop, as a Native rights activist, and author of the # 1 national bestseller The Reason You Walk: A Memoir and host of the acclaimed documentary series “8th Fire” on CBC. It will be an honour to host and DJ this event as we continue our journey towards truth and reconciliation for all Canadians. Looking forward to playing on the ones and twos also with an all vinyl set, featuring Aboriginal songs from residential school survivors to a few hip hop tracks for Wab. Tickets are $12 and available here: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/wab-kinew-reflections-on-reconciliation-tickets-20439418852