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Words from Chief Wayne Christian

Honourable senators, I recently had the privilege of hearing Chief Wayne Christian speak at a conference on Indigenous matters. He is chief of the Splatsin First Nation in B.C. and a tribal chief of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council. These are excerpts from his speech: Those little ones . . . . They whispered ‘They found us.’ Those 3 words echoed around the world. . . . The discovery has opened up all that we know as Indigenous People of how this country has treated us. How their laws — the leg…
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Remains of Indigenous Children Found at Kamloops Indian Residential School

Thank you to Senator Rob Black and to Senator Martin for offering their space today. Honourable senators, this is an intergenerational statement. A mass grave of children — sons, daughters, siblings, grandchildren, potential leaders and change agents — a genocide of children who were never given the opportunity to live their lives, simply because they were Indian. Their connection to family, to their culture, their hopes and dreams for their futures all stolen, and by whom? Does this continue t…
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Indigenous Women's Firsts - 2

Honourable senators, I start today by thanking the magnificent Indigenous women who, over the course of Canadian history, have paved the way for their descendants, despite facing many overwhelming challenges. The stories of these women, established since the 1800s but begun centuries before, are still relevant today. They capture snapshots of Indigenous women’s history, experiences and knowledge about creating a strong sense of identity, despite facing racist and sexist marginalization. These wo…
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Indigenous Women's Firsts - 1

Honourable senators, just as I was a student in both land-based education and Western education, and walked between two worlds, I would like to invite you to be a student of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-status peoples’ reality and history. I invite you to do so to learn two-eyed seeing, a Mi’kmaq way of knowing that will help us in our journey toward reconciliation. In the 1974 book The Fourth World: An Indian Reality, by George Manuel and Michael Posluns, Manuel states on page 2: Withi…
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Tribute to Senator Ron Michel

Honourable senators, I rise in tribute to Senator Ron Michel of the Prince Albert Grand Council, December 6, 1951, to Monday, January 25, 2021. Senator Michel was born in 1951 in a log cabin on the Churchill River, what he called the lifeblood of the Peter Ballantyne Woodland Cree in northern Saskatchewan. His mother and father lived and passed on to their children a rich and spiritual traditional lifestyle of hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering. His father encouraged him to get an educati…
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