Saturday, April 9, 2011

Prince George to Thunder Bay

I am heading home from a wonderful tour that took me from Prince George to Oakville and on to Thunder Bay. I'm developing my skills at sharing my message and a deeper repetoire of stories to enrichen it, however my message remains much the same: reading is a skill/tool that all (adults and youth alike) need to survive and thrive. For for the first time in history, reading has become accessible to aboriginal people. It is a fact that in order to read, we have to able to see ourselves in the books we read. Aboriginal people have not had that luxury until now. They do not identify with the hobbits in Lord of the Rings any more than they see themselves as the character Lynn Banks depicts in Indian in the Cupboard. They do however see themselves as the brilliantly depicted personnages of Joseph Boyton, Richard Wagamese and Drew Haydon Taylor. They are even finding themselves in some wonderfully unexpected books such as Twilight where the hero is a warm blooded, handsome young First Nation man, Jacob Black...and not the pasty, cold blooded white guy Edward Cullen. Barack Obama is President of the United Stated. The Berlin Wall has been taken down. We too can read and watch us grow and succeed as we do...

So thank you Prince George, Halton School Boards, Lakehead in Thunder Bay and DFK (THE perfect venue for my message...this school that services FN students flown in from the North, living in boarding houses)... I'm going home to pack, walk my dogs and get to know my family. I'll be back out here on....Tuesday...and that means three sleeps at home! Ah... Miigwetch Kokum.

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