Here’s a submission from a young and talented writer. She uses her words to paint a vivid picture of life in East Vancouver and what it’s like to grow up as an Aboriginal woman, dealing with negative perceptions and how you can triumph over anything.
You’re Better Than That
By: Christina Ogilvie
The DTES Vancouver, ‘DownTown East Side’, our home; infamously and condescendingly referred to as the ‘Native Ghetto’.
This label is pinned to you, they think they have you figured out, uneducated, lazy, impoverished with no talent to show.
Residential school syndrome, institutional racism, colonialism and culture loss leave our impressionable Aboriginal youth confused and lost for an identity.
As a result our youth identify with the term ‘Native Ghetto’ and behave in a manner that’s stereotypically so because they feel there is nothing else they can be.
As a result our Aboriginal youth, so beautiful, talented, and intelligent will then engage in drugging, drinking, violence and crime and passing up opportunity.
The psychological colonialism of this term ‘Native ghetto’ continues the job of the residential school system by removing our cultural identity.
As a result our culture is removed through our own violence and addiction, show them you are better than that; show them you are not just a hopeless ‘Indian’ in the ‘Native Ghetto’.
Educate yourself, live sober, fight for your rights, rise together, let’s make our ancestors proud and give them what they fought for; be the Aboriginal leaders of tomorrow.
Become the Aboriginal leaders in medicine, law, literature, or any area you wish, there are no limits, there is no place you cannot go.
Our ancestors survived all attempts of genocide, show them we won’t stop standing, won’t stop fighting, continue our ancestors’ strength and show society you are better than that, show you aren’t just a hopeless Indian in the ‘Native Ghetto’
She is a shining example of how we can use our words to initiate change and achieve exactly what we ‘hope for the future’. Thank you, Christina!
The following are testimonials related to the Cover Story from the 2011 First Nations Resource Magazine
On Thursday May 6, 2010,Mr. Theoren Fleury was the guest speaker at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (Haldimand-Norfolk Branch) annual Mental Health Awareness Week event. Mr. Fleury’s talk, entitled Don’t Quit Before The Miracle, was well received by an audience of over 400 people. Mr. Fleury gave a personal message of HOPE on overcoming serious drug addictions and general despair to a renewed life of full recovery and positive lifestyle changes. The former NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Best Selling Author has turned his life around by making healthy lifestyle choices that helped break the cycle of addiction and its devastating effects on individuals, family and friends, and by focusing on improving his overall mental health. (more…)
Don Amero played with his sister-in-law Kim at the Emdale Tavern and Tunney’s Pasture in Ottawa on May 25th. From his humbling background in the flooring business and from a somewhat rough neigbourhood that gave him less than desirable career alternatives, Don Amero chose to pursue his musical Gift and share it with the world. On this eastern Canada tour with a limited budget and with a baby on the way, Don was impressive with his powerful voice and heartfelt delivery. When speaking with Don, he expresses the humbleness, approachableness and desire to please his audience first, that is the mark of many a successful performer before him. (more…)
It all started with a poster, a WANTED poster and I wanted to draw attention to an issue that is a chronic open wound in many First Nation Communities, an issue that in some cultures is still considered taboo to talk about openly. The issue is suicide, and for all of our not talking ‘about it’, everyone knows ‘about it’ because each incident not only rends a hole in the lives and hearts of new families but also tears the scabs off not yet healed wounds of others before them. (more…)
When Community Access Internet services became available in a number of Aboriginal communities in western and northern Ontario, this raised the obvious question in the minds of the chiefs: How do we take maximum advantage of these electronic communications? (more…)
Sachigo Lake First Nation Youths committed to helping make change across the Sioux Lookout Zone Region.
Please help make their commitment a success by donating the walk-a-thon.
To follow the progress of the Walk-a-thon, please visit: http://sachigoctscannerwalk.myknet.org/