Transcript: Aiding Indigenous Education | Aug 19, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a red floral print shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Aiding Indigenous education. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says INDSPIRE: IT'S REALLY A PERFECT NAME FOR THE NATIONAL
INDIGENOUS-LED CHARITY
THAT'S HELPING
TO ELEVATE FIRST NATION,
MÉTIS AND INUIT YOUTH
THROUGH EDUCATION.
AND IT STARTS AT THE TOP, WITH
THE REMARKABLE ROBERTA JAMIESON.
SHE IS PRESIDENT
AND CEO OF INDSPIRE,
AND AN INSPIRATION
IN HER OWN RIGHT.

Roberta is in her sixties, with short gray hair. She's wearing an indigo blazer over a black blouse, and a silver pendant necklace.

Nam continues ALSO WITH US TODAY,
VICTORIA ANDERSON-GARDNER,
A RYERSON UNIVERSITY STUDENT
AND A 2019 RECIPIENT
OF AN INDSPIRE BURSARY.

Victoria is in her early twenties, with long straight brown hair. She's wearing a beige and black sleeveless blouse.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU BOTH,
IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Roberta says IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE.

Nam says SO, MYSELF AND MS. JAMIESON HAVE
BEEN HAVING
A... KIND OF A
[CHUCKLES]
TUG OF WAR HERE.
I DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE CALLING
YOU ROBERTA,
BUT YOU WANT ME TO
CALL YOU ROBERTA.

Roberta says I DO, PLEASE.

NAM SAYS SO I WILL CALL YOU ROBERTA,

Roberta says OK.

Nam says SO, CAN YOU GIVE US
A BIT OF BACKGROUND ON INDSPIRE?

The caption changes to "Roberta Jamieson. Indspire."
Then, it changes again to "Building students' futures."

Roberta says WELL, INDSPIRE ALTHOUGH
IT HAS A NEW NAME
COMBINING INDIGENOUS
AND INSPIRATION,
IT'S BEEN AROUND FOR ABOUT 30
YEARS, CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENT
OF FIRST NATIONS INUIT
AND MÉTIS PEOPLE,
SUPPORTING THE EDUCATION
DREAMS OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE,
AND IN THE LAST 15 YEARS WE'VE
REALLY FOCUSED ON EDUCATION.

NAM SAYS WHY?

Roberta says BECAUSE NO MATTER
WHAT TOPIC
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
IN THE COUNTRY,
IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE,
OUR ROLE IN CANADA,
HOW WE'RE GONNA CHANGE THINGS.
AND I WON'T READ THE STATISTICS,
THEY'RE ALL TOO WELL KNOWN.
WE ARE MOST CHALLENGED
IN HEALTHCARE
AND EDUCATION,
ECONOMICALLY EVERYWHERE,
MURDERED AND MISSING
INDIGENOUS WOMEN.
IF WE'RE GONNA CHANGE
ANYTHING... THE ECONOMICS,
THE WELL-BEING
IN OUR COMMUNITIES,
HOUSING, WATER, YOU NAME IT...
EDUCATION IS THE KEY.
BUT NOT JUST ANY EDUCATION;
EDUCATION THAT VALIDATES
AND NURTURES OUR PEOPLE
AS INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
THAT'S THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
AND THEN WHEN YOU DO THAT,
OUR PEOPLE CAN DO ANYTHING.

Nam says I READ US AN ARTICLE... AN
INTERVIEW THAT YOU DID
WITH SOMEBODY
A WHILE AGO,
AND WHEN
YOU WERE IN GRADE 2
YOU HAD A PIVOTAL
EXPERIENCE WITH A TEACHER,
AND I THINK THAT... IS IT SAFE TO
SAY THAT THAT SHAPED YOUR VIEW
OF WHERE YOU FIT
INTO TURTLE ISLAND?

Roberta says WELL, I THINK THERE ARE MANY
THINGS THAT IMPACTED ME
TO SHORE UP MY RELATIONSHIP
TO TURTLE ISLAND,
BUT AS A YOUNGSTER IF YOU'RE
REFERRING TO THE FACT THAT
[CHUCKLING]
I HAD A TEACHER WHO SAID,
"NOW, I HAVE TEACH YOU
WHAT IT SAYS IN THE BOOK,
DICTATED BY THE DEPARTMENT
OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
CERTAIN THINGS LIKE COLUMBUS
DISCOVERED AMERICA.
THERE;
NOW LET ME TELL YOU THE TRUTH."
AND THAT TAUGHT ME
CRITICAL THINKING,
GAVE ME THE COURAGE
TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER,
AND REALLY LET ME KNOW
THAT DESPITE WHAT MAINSTREAM
WAS TRYING TO TELL OUR PEOPLE,
THERE IS ANOTHER TRUTH
AND WE OWN THAT TRUTH
AND WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF IT.

Nam says THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER
YOU'VE BEEN THE FIRST
TO DO MANY THINGS.
IN YOUR BIO
FOR A SPEAKER SERIES
ON THE ISSUE
OF INDIGENOUS EDUCATION,
HOSTED BY THE CANADIAN COUNCIL
FOR ABORIGINAL BUSINESS,
WE LEARN THAT...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "A career of firsts." The quote reads "Roberta has enjoyed a distinguished career of firsts. She was the first First Nation woman to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario (1989-1999); and in December 2001, she was the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory."
Quoted from ccab.com, 2016.

Nam says CONSIDERING OF ALL THE FIRSTS
THAT YOU'VE ACCOMPLISHED,
WHY DID YOU WANT TO TAKE
ON A ROLE WITH INDSPIRE?

The caption changes to "Roberta Jamieson, @Robertaindspire."

Roberta says I THINK BECAUSE IT FITS
WITH... YES,
I'VE HAD DIVERSE ROLES
BUT THEY'VE ALL BEEN ABOUT
A COUPLE OF THINGS.
ONE: CREATING IMPACTFUL CHANGE,
POSITIVE CONSTRUCTIVE CHANGE
THAT BUILDS THE NATION.
TWO: ROLLS THAT ENABLED ME
TO TAKE A LONG VIEW.
OUR PEOPLE ARE TAUGHT WE'RE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORLD
WE'RE CREATING
FOR THE SEVENTH GENERATION.
AND FOR ME THAT'S NOT
A ROMANTIC VIEW;
THAT IS A REAL OBLIGATION.
SO IN THIS ROLE, FOCUSING ON
EDUCATION, PROVIDING OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE WITH THE SUPPORT
THEY NEED TO ACHIEVE
THEIR POTENTIAL SO THEY CAN
CREATE CHANGE, PERFECT FIT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

NAM SAYS AND WE HAVE SOMEBODY
WHO'S BENEFITED FROM THAT.
VICTORIA, IT'S REALLY NICE
TO HAVE YOU HERE.
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR
ABOUT INDSPIRE?

The caption changes to "Victoria Anderson-Gardner. Director, 'The hurt that binds us.'"

Victoria says IT WAS ACTUALLY BACK
IN MY HIGH SCHOOL DAYS.
I GOT INVITED TO A CONFERENCE
THROUGH INDSPIRE
IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO.
AND I WAS JUST INVITED AS YOUTH
TO JUST PARTICIPATE
IN THE CONFERENCE, AND I THINK
IT WAS CALLED THE SOARING...

Roberta says SOARING STUDENTS SUCCESS
CONFERENCE.

[LAUGHTER]

Victoria says YEAH.
AND SO,
AT THAT CONFERENCE
I LEARNED A LOT
OF LEADERSHIP SKILLS,
AND ACTUALLY WON A
LAPTOP THROUGH A CONTEST
THAT WAS HAPPENING THERE.
AND THAT LAPTOP ACTUALLY HELPED
ME WITH THE CURRENT HOBBIES
THAT I'M DOING, AND ACTUALLY,
MY CURRENT CAREER,
IT ALLOWED ME TO ACTUALLY
DOWNLOAD PROGRAMS
TO DO MORE FILM-RELATED
LIKE ACTIVITIES AND WHATNOT.
AND SO IT WAS KIND
OF THROUGH THAT,
AND THEN JUST THROUGHOUT
MY UNIVERSITY CAREER,
I HAD SOME PEOPLE CONTACT ME
TO JUST APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
AND BURSARIES
THROUGH INDSPIRE.
AND SO LAST YEAR
I DECIDED TO TRY TO ACTUALLY
APPLY FINALLY,
AND I WAS A RECIPIENT
OF A 1,000 dollar BURSARY.

NAM SAYS AND HOW DID THAT HELP YOU
DO WHAT YOU DO?

Victoria says SO IT HELPS ME ACTUALLY TO DO
MY THESIS FILM,
JUST BECAUSE I'M DOING A
BACHELOR'S DEGREE
IN FILM AT RYERSON.
AND SO IT HELPS ME TO PAY SOME
OF THE POST PRODUCTION COSTS
FOR THAT.
IT ALSO HELPS ME TO JUST LIVE
HERE IN TORONTO,
BECAUSE IT'S VERY EXPENSIVE.
AND IT'S JUST REALLY
HELPED ME
TO ACTUALLY JUST CONTINUE
BEING HERE,
TO ACHIEVE
WHAT I WANTED TO DO.

Nam says IT'S EMPOWERING, YES?

Victoria says IT HONESTLY WAS VERY EMPOWERING
JUST... IT WAS REALLY
NICE TO RECEIVE LIKE THE BURSARY
JUST KNOWING THAT I HAVE
THE SUPPORT
IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE
WHAT I WANT TO DO,
IT WAS REALLY NICE
TO HAVE THAT
AND TO JUST FEEL MORE
SECURE IN WHAT I'M DOING
AND THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY
ARE ENCOURAGING ME TO CONTINUE
TO PURSUE MY CAREER IN FILM.

NAM SAYS AND ROBERTA, HEARING THAT
FROM SOMEBODY WHO'S BENEFITING,
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU
AND THE WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING?

Roberta says I MEAN, VICTORIA,
YOU ARE SO INSPIRATIONAL.
AND SHE'S PURSUING HER GOALS.
THE INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL
THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
HAVE IN THE COUNTRY.
YOU KNOW,
STILL TODAY... CANADIANS,
WE HAVE SOME COMFORTABLE
MYTHS ABOUT OUR PEOPLE.
ONE: THAT WE HAVE EDUCATION PAID
FOR FROM CRADLE-TO-GRAVE,
WE WANT FOR NOTHING.
THAT IS NOT TRUE.

NAM SAYS WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

Roberta says THE TRUTH IS THERE ARE SOME
FUNDS FOR SOME STUDENTS
TO ACHIEVE SOME
LEVEL OF EDUCATION.
BUT THE NEED IS GREAT.
ONLY FOUR OUT OF 10
OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
FROM FIRST NATIONS ACHIEVE
A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION,
VERSUS NINE OUT OF 10
NON-INDIGENOUS CANADIANS.
SO THERE IS... AND STUDENTS TELL
US THE BIGGEST BARRIER FOR THEM
STILL IS THE LACK
OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
THAT'S WHY, INDSPIRE, WE DO WHAT
WE DO AND ENGAGE CANADIANS.
IN A WAY, OUR DONORS TELL US,
THIS IS A WAY WE CAN MAKE
A CONCRETE CONTRIBUTION
TO RECONCILIATION IN CANADA.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR IT... CANADIANS
ARE LEARNING MORE ABOUT
OUR SHARED HISTORY,
AND THEY KNOW THAT EDUCATION
CERTAINLY WAS THE KEY IN THERE
LIFE, IN MANY WAYS,
AND THE POWER OF IT
IN OUR STUDENTS' LIVES.
SO, I FEEL INCREDIBLE JOY AND
I'M JUST IN AWE OF THE TALENTS
AND THE RESOURCES THAT OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE ARE BRINGING
TO THE TABLE, DAY AFTER
DAY, AGAINST ALL ODDS.

Nam says BECAUSE SOMEBODY MIGHT HEAR,
YOU KNOW, 1,000 dollars,
IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A LOT OF
MONEY... AND VICTORIA,
YOU RECEIVED 1,000 dollars... BUT IT
CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE
IN SOMEONE GETTING THE
OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING
THAT THEY MIGHT OTHERWISE NOT
BE ABLE TO DO.

Roberta says IT CAN,
AND STUDENTS' NEEDS VARY.
WE HAVE MANY APPLICATIONS
FOR BURSARIES FROM STUDENTS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
AND LAST YEAR WE WERE ABLE
TO GIVE 14.2 MILLION
THROUGH 4,900 BURSARIES,
AND ABOUT 1,500 OF THOSE
WERE HERE IN ONTARIO.
THE STUDENTS PRESENT
THEIR NEEDS.
THEY MAY HAVE RECEIVED
SOME MODEST FUNDS
FROM THEIR COMMUNITY
AND JUST NEED TOP UP FOR DAYCARE
SO THEY CAN GO
TO THE EVENING COURSES.
OR THEY MAY BE PURSUING
A CAREER IN MEDICINE
AND NEED A GREAT
DEAL MORE SUPPORT.
SO WE DON'T HAVE A SET AMOUNT
AT INDSPIRE.
IT'S BASED ON NEED... HOW THEY'RE DOING IN SCHOOL,
AND THEIR COMMITMENT
TO GIVE BACK TO COMMUNITY;
THOSE ARE ALL FACTORS
THAT OUR JURY... IT'S A JURIED
PROCESS... TAKES INTO ACCOUNT.

Nam says VICTORIA, THE MONEY THAT YOU
RECEIVED YOU ABLE TO CREATE
YOUR THESIS FILM,
THE HURT THAT BINDS US,
AND YOU ACTUALLY RECEIVED
AN AWARD THIS PAST MAY.

Victoria says YES.

NAM SAYS WHAT WAS THE AWARD?

Victoria says SO I WON BEST DOCUMENTARY,
ALONG WITH BEST WOMAN IN FILM,
AND SO...

NAM SAYS WHERE?

Victoria says AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY.

NAM SAYS CONGRATULATIONS.

Victoria says THANK YOU.

NAM SAYS SO WE'RE GOING TO TAKE
A LOOK AT A CLIP FROM YOUR FILM
AND THEN WE'LL TALK
MORE ABOUT IT.
SHELDON, PLEASE ROLL.


A clip plays on screen with the caption "The hurt that binds us."

(music plays)

A bachelor's degree sits on a table.

A WOMAN in her forties SAYS I JUST THOUGHT MY PARENTS
WERE LIKE JUST MESSED UP PEOPLE
[CHUCKLES] 'CAUSE I DIDN'T
UNDERSTAND, I WAS A KID, RIGHT?
YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN
YOU'RE A KID, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
YOU JUST ACCEPT IT;
THAT'S YOUR FAMILY,
THAT'S YOUR LIFE,
THAT'S HOW YOU LIVE.
NOWADAYS, WESTERN SOCIETY
THEY SAY OF IT'S VIOLENCE.
IT'S ABUSE,
IT'S ALL THIS STUFF, RIGHT?
AND I UNDERSTAND THAT.
TO ME, AS A PRODUCT OF INDIAN
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL,
WE HAD NO CHOICE,
NOT MY GENERATION,
NOT THEIR GENERATION.

Outdoors, on a cold winter day, the woman zips up a fur-lined jacket.

She continues IT GOT TAKEN AWAY FROM US;
OUR CHOICE, OUR FREEDOM,
GOT TAKEN AWAY.

Aerial views show frozen landscapes.

A female NARRATOR SAYS INTERGENERATIONAL
TRAUMA IS A REALITY THAT REMAINS
ABSTRACT TO MANY.
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES ACROSS
TURTLE ISLAND ARE STILL AFFECTED
BY THE TRAUMAS
INFLICTED UPON THEM.
HOWEVER, THIS GENERATION AND THE
GENERATIONS TO COME ARE STRONG,
RESILIENT,
AND WILL STAND TALL AGAIN.

Feet wearing show shoes walk away in the snow.

(music plays)

The clip ends.

Nam says VICTORIA, THAT'S GREAT WORK,
SO BEAUTIFULLY WELL DONE.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU
TO TACKLE THE ISSUE
OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
THROUGH FILM?

The caption changes to "Where the funding leads."

Victoria says IT WAS DEFINITELY MY OWN
EXPERIENCES GROWING UP,
JUST BECAUSE I GREW UP
ON MY RESERVE
FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
BUT JUST REALIZING THE DIFFERENT
TRAUMAS THAT EVERYONE SHARED
BUT DIDN'T ACTUALLY REALLY TALK
ABOUT, REALLY BOTHERED ME,
GROWING UP ON THE RESERVE,
BECAUSE I WANTED TO UNDERSTAND
MYSELF BETTER,
ALONG WITH JUST MY OWN FAMILY,
BUT IT JUST SEEMED
LIKE SUCH A HUSH TOPIC
THAT NO ONE
EVER TALKED ABOUT.
AND IT SEEMED LIKE ONLY
WITHIN LIKE
THE PAST LIKE FIVE
TO LIKE SEVEN YEARS
THAT I KIND OF FINALLY
STARTED TO HEAR
THE TOPIC BROUGHT UP
A LOT MORE.
AND IT JUST... GOING THROUGH
UNIVERSITY AND LEARNING MORE
ABOUT MYSELF THROUGH
DIFFERENT COURSES,
LIKE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
AND DECOLONIZATION,
I REALIZED THAT I REALLY
WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT MORE
WITHIN MY OWN COMMUNITY
AND JUST WITHIN MY OWN FAMILY
TO HELP BETTER
UNDERSTAND MYSELF.
AND ALSO JUST MEETING
OTHER INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
AND REALIZING THAT WE
HAVE SIMILAR TRAUMAS
BECAUSE OF WHAT
WE'VE EXPERIENCED.
I WANTED TO EXPLORE
THAT TOPIC MORE,
AND SO I BROUGHT
THE IDEA UP TO MY FAMILY
ABOUT ACTUALLY
SHARING THEIR EXPERIENCES
AND THEIR TRAUMAS,
AND THEY WERE ALL VERY FOR IT.
IT WAS DEFINITELY
A LONG PROCESS
BECAUSE I WANTED TO
BE VERY SENSITIVE ABOUT IT
BECAUSE OF THE TOPICS
THAT ARE TALKED ABOUT.
AND ALSO I JUST WANT TO BE
RESPECTFUL OF MY FAMILY.
AND SO, IT WAS KIND OF LIKE
A TWO-YEAR PROCESS
OF JUST LIKE DOING
PRE-INTERVIEWS
AND THEN ACTUALLY
PLANNING TO GO UP THERE
AND DO IT
AND SECURING FUNDING FOR IT.
AND IT WAS DEFINITELY A VERY
LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR ME
TO DO IT,
AND I'M JUST REALLY HAPPY
THAT MY FAMILY AGREED TO
ACTUALLY DO IT
[CHUCKLES]
BECAUSE OF HOW SENSITIVE IT IS.
AND I JUST WANT TO ENCOURAGE
COMMUNICATION
AND KIND OF LIKE CONTINUE THE
PROCESS OF LIKE RECONCILIATION
AND JUST ENCOURAGING
INDIGENIZATION
RATHER THAN
DECOLONIZATION,
BECAUSE THE TERM
"DECOLONIZATION" IN ITSELF
IS LIKE A COLONIZER WORD...

The caption changes to "Victoria Anderson-Gardner. Ryerson Students' Union."

Victoria continues AND SO WE CAN'T
EXACTLY GO BACK...AND SO WE CAN'T EXACTLY
GO BACK
TO HOW IT WAS BEFORE
COLONIZATION HAPPENED,
WE CAN JUST CONTINUE
TO INDIGENIZE THE WORLD.

NAM SAYS AND CAN YOU EXPAND
ON THAT IDEA, ROBERTA, PLEASE?

Roberta says WELL,
I THINK IT WAS VERY COURAGEOUS
TO DO THIS
FILM, VICTORIA.
AND SOME OF THE THINGS
THAT SHE'S SAYING
ARE ABSOLUTELY SO TRUE.
OUR HISTORY, YES, OUR KIDS
ARE BORN WITH THE LEGACY
OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS,
THAT'S HOW THEY START SCHOOL,
BUT WE HAVE AN IDENTITY
THAT PREDATES COLONIZATION,
VICTIMIZATION,
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS;
WE HAVE MUCH TO
BE PROUD OF,
WE HAVE A HISTORY
OF TRADITIONAL HEALING,
STEWARDSHIP OVER THE LAND,
CONFLICT RESOLUTION;
THERE'S SO MANY THINGS
THAT WE CAN OFFER
AND BRING TO THE TABLE,
WE FORGET ABOUT THOSE THINGS.
AND SO AS YOU RE-DISCOVER
THOSE THINGS,
AND EMPOWER OUR OWN PEOPLE TO
STEP OUT AGAIN INTO THE LIGHT,
SO MUCH AS POSSIBLE
IN THIS COUNTRY.
AND I THINK THAT VICTORIA,
THROUGH HER FILMS,
IS REALLY EDUCATING CANADIANS
AND OUR OWN PEOPLE,
CHALLENGING US TO MOVE
OUT INTO THAT LIGHT,
AND THAT IS
A VERY NOBLE ENTERPRISE,
I THINK,
AND A MUCH-NEEDED ONE.
WE STILL... YOU KNOW,
WE STILL CARRY AROUND
A LOT OF STEREOTYPES
ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
WE DON'T KNOW THAT LAST YEAR,
FOR EXAMPLE,
I CAN TELL YOU
INDSPIRE SUPPORTED
450 INDIGENOUS BUSINESS
STUDENTS, OVER 350 NURSES;
THESE ARE NOT
THE STATISTICS WE HEAR ABOUT,
AND WE NEED TO HEAR MORE
ABOUT THAT,
AND WHAT OUR PEOPLE
ARE DOING
TO CHANGE OUR COMMUNITIES
AND WHAT CANADIANS CAN DO
TO SUPPORT THAT CHANGE.
BECAUSE, BOTTOM LINE:
IT WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Nam says AND I WANT TO... IT ALWAYS RUNS
SO FAST THESE INTERVIEWS;
I JUST WANTED TO TOUCH
ON ALSO THE FACT
WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT REPRESENTATION,
VICTORIA HAVING
THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
THIS FILM THROUGH HER VOICE,
THROUGH HER LENS,
MIGHT NOT HAVE HAPPENED
WITHOUT INDSPIRE,
AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

Roberta says WELL I THINK THAT VICTORIA
IS A DETERMINED YOUNG WOMAN,
I THINK SHE WOULD
TELL HER STORY...

NAM LAUGHS AND SAYS SHE'D HAVE MADE
IT HAPPEN...

Roberta says NO MATTER WHAT.
BUT IT'S A GREAT HONOUR FOR US
TO BE PART OF SUPPORTING HER
IN ACHIEVING HER DREAMS.
YOU KNOW, WE BELIEVE A LOT IN
INDSPIRE IN ROLE MODELS.
THAT'S WHY WE DO
THE INDSPIRE AWARDS
WHERE WE HONOUR OUTSTANDING
FIRST NATIONS,
INUIT AND MÉTIS ACHIEVERS,
THREE YOUTH AMONG THEM.
AND HERE'S A ROLE MODEL
RIGHT HERE.
SHE'S GOING TO DO GREAT THINGS,
EVEN GREATER, JUST WATCH HER,
I CAN'T WAIT.

NAM SAYS YOUNG PEOPLE
ARE GONNA SAVE US.
I BELIEVE THAT
[CHUCKLES]
WELL, INDSPIRE HAS
BEEN RECOGNIZED
AS ONE OF THE TOP 10 CANADIAN
IMPACT CHARITIES
ACCORDING TO CHARITY
INTELLIGENCE CANADA.
WHAT DOES THAT SIGNIFY?

The caption changes to "Top of the class."

Roberta says WELL, I THINK WE'RE VERY PROUD.
IT SIGNIFIES TO ME A RECOGNITION
OF THE INDSPIRE TEAM'S WORK.
WE ARE A TEAM.
WE HAVE A LOT OF HARDWORKING
INDIVIDUALS AT INDSPIRE.
WE HAVE A 90 percent GRADUATION RATE
OF THE STUDENTS WE SUPPORT.
SO IT MEANS
A NUMBER OF THINGS;
RECOGNITION OF OUR
STUDENTS' POTENTIAL.
AND WE'RE JUST THE CONDUIT.
WE'RE BETWEEN THOSE WHO WANT
TO SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS
AND THOSE WHO
NEED THEIR SUPPORT.
AND I'M PLEASED TO BE
AN EFFECTIVE CONDUIT,
AND A GOOD NETWORK.

NAM SAYS AND WHO ARE SOME
OF YOUR DONORS?

Roberta says OH DEAR, WE HAVE MANY DONORS.
GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE TO PLAY,
A LOT OF CORPORATE DONORS,
ABOUT 10,000 CANADIANS NOW,
I'M PROUD TO SAY,
WHO ARE SUPPORTING OUR WORK.
WE'VE HAD A MATCHING BURSARY
CAMPAIGN AVAILABLE,
AND IF PEOPLE WANT TO FIND OUT
MORE GO TO INDSPIRE.CA,
WE MAY BE ABLE TO
MATCH YOUR DONATION
AND THAT WILL DOUBLE
THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE
FOR STUDENTS LIKE VICTORIA.

Nam says WELL, YOU MENTIONED
THE INDSPIRE AWARDS,
HOW DOES THAT FIT INTO THE
BIGGER PICTURE OF THE WORK
YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES?

Roberta says ROLE MODELS;
CELEBRATING ROLE MODELS.
BUT ALSO EDUCATING
CANADIANS
ABOUT WHAT OUR PEOPLE
ARE DOING.
THIS YEAR JEREMY DUTCHER,
POLARIS RECIPIENT,
HE'S ON IT,
HE'S AN OUTSTANDING PERFORMER.
BUT THEN WE ALSO HAVE A DOCTOR
WHO IS DOING INCREDIBLE THINGS,
PUTTING TOGETHER
WESTERN MEDICINE
AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINE.
WE ALSO HAVE BRIGETTE LACQUETTE,
WHO IS AN AMAZING HOCKEY PLAYER.
I MEAN,
THE STORIES CAN GO ON.
THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE
ICEBERG OF WHAT OUR PEOPLE
HAVE DONE
AND CAN CONTRIBUTE.

NAM SAYS WELL THAT WAS WHAT
I WAS GOING TO FOLLOW UP
WITH WHAT YOU SAID BEFORE,
THAT THERE'S JUST SO MUCH
MORE TO WHAT WE...

ROBERTA SAYS MORE.

NAM SAYS THE MYTHS
AND THE STEREOTYPES,
AND I THINK IT'S A
WAY TO... DOES THE INDSPIRE AWARDS
ALLOW YOU AN OPPORTUNITY
TO KIND OF CELEBRATE PEOPLE
WHO MIGHT NOT ACTUALLY
BE CELEBRATED ANYWHERE ELSE?

Roberta says THEY DO, CERTAINLY.
AND I WILL ALSO SAY,
I'M PLEASED TO SEE
TVO'S INDIGENOUS HUB
LAUNCHED,
BECAUSE YOU ARE
IN A UNIQUE POSITION
TO HELP COMMUNITIES WHO LIVE
CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER
LEARN MORE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER,
AND THE REGION AND BEYOND.
MY TIME AS CHIEF,
AND EVEN AS A KID GROWING UP,
IT ALWAYS AMAZED ME HOW WE CAN
BE 20, 30 MILES DOWN THE ROAD
AND KNOW SO LITTLE
ABOUT ONE ANOTHER
AND UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES
AT SUCH A SUPERFICIAL LEVEL.
SO CONGRATULATIONS TVO,
FOR THE NEW INDIGENOUS HUB.

NAM SAYS WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I THINK ONE
OF TVO'S MANDATE
IS TO TELL THE STORIES
OF ALL ONTARIANS
THROUGH THE INDIGENOUS LENS,
SO IT'S GREAT TO HAVE
INDIGENOUS REPORTERS
WORKING FOR THOSE HUBS.

Roberta says ABSOLUTELY, THAT IS KEY.

Nam says VICTORIA, TELL US ABOUT SOME OF
THE OBSTACLES THAT YOU WITNESSED
IN TERMS OF STUDENTS
FROM EAGLE LAKE FIRST NATION
SUCCESSFULLY MAKING
THEIR WAY
THROUGH TO HIGH SCHOOL
GRADUATION.

The caption changes to "Early years."

Victoria says WELL, AS A PART OF LIKE LIVING
ON THE RESERVE,
EAGLE LAKE FIRST NATION,
IT'S ABOUT,
I SAY LIKE ABOUT HALF-AN-HOUR
TO 45 MINUTES
OUTSIDE OF LIKE THE NEAREST
CITY, WHICH IS DRYDEN.
AND SO PART OF THE STRUGGLE
THAT I LIKE INITIALLY SAW
JUST GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL...

NAM SAYS WE HAVE A MAP,
JUST SHOWING YOU.

A satellite map of Ontario appears and homes in on Dryden, then West of Dryden to show the Eagle Lake First Nation.

Victoria says WAS THAT,
TAKING THE BUS ITSELF
WAS LIKE THE FIRST
OBSTACLE THAT I SAW,
BECAUSE IF YOU MISSED
THE BUS
THEN YOU CAN'T REALLY
GET INTO TOWN
TO ACTUALLY GO
TO HIGH SCHOOL.

NAM SAYS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T WALK
THERE.

Victoria says YEAH, YOU CAN'T... IT'S IMPOSSIBLE
TO WALK THERE,
LIKE IT WOULD TAKE YOU HOURS
TO WALK THERE.
AND ALSO IT'S JUST DANGEROUS
AS WELL, BECAUSE WILD ANIMALS,
ALSO IT'S JUST DANGEROUS
BECAUSE OF STRANGERS...

NAM SAYS LACK OF PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION.

Victoria says YEAH, LACK OF PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION.
AND THEN ALSO JUST BECAUSE,
UNFORTUNATELY,
A LOT OF MY FRIENDS PARENTS
DIDN'T HAVE
LIKE THE ECONOMIC MEANS
TO ACTUALLY HAVE VEHICLES,
SO THEY WERE
JUST STRANDED.
AND SO I MYSELF ACTUALLY GOT
STRANDED A COUPLE OF TIMES TOO
WHERE I COULDN'T ACTUALLY GO TO
SCHOOL 'CAUSE I MISSED THE BUS.
AND SO THAT WAS DEFINITELY ONE
OF THEM,
AND THEN ALSO JUST GOING TO
A MOSTLY NON-INDIGENOUS SCHOOL
WHERE ALL OF THE RESERVE
STUDENTS HAD TO BUS IN,
YOU CAN TELL THAT WE WERE
A SMALLER POPULATION
AT THE SCHOOL.
AND THEN ALSO THE FACT THAT
THERE WASN'T INDIGENOUS FACULTY.
I FEEL LIKE THE REPRESENTATION
OF THE FACULTY WOULD HAVE HELPED
A LOT MORE
TO FEEL MORE ENCOURAGED
TO ACTUALLY GO TO CLASS
TO HAVE PEOPLE
WHO ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND
US A LOT BETTER.
AND SO JUST HAVING
THAT DIFFERENT SUPPORT
WITHIN THE SCHOOL WOULD
HAVE BEEN A LOT NICER
TO HAVE MORE INDIGENOUS
REPRESENTATION.

Nam says IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE WAS A LOT
OF OBSTACLES FOR YOU
TO GO THROUGH JUST TO GRADUATE
FROM HIGH SCHOOL.
WHAT PUSHED YOU TO GRADUATE,
TO ACTUALLY STAY AND FINISH?

Victoria says PART OF MY LIFE STORY IS THAT
I HAD A SISTER WHO ACTUALLY DIED
IN THUNDER BAY WHEN I WAS 10.

NAM SAYS I'M SO SORRY.

Victoria says AND SO JUST SEEING THE STRUGGLES
THAT SHE WENT THROUGH
TO GO THROUGH LIKE SCHOOL
AND JUST THE DIFFERENT THINGS
THAT I SAW HER DO
AS LIKE A YOUNG CHILD,
IT REALLY LIKE MADE ME SEE
THE DIFFERENT STRUGGLES
AND I... PART OF IT WAS WHAT
I WANTED TO DO IT FOR HER,
BUT ALSO FOR MYSELF
AND FOR MY FAMILY.
AND SO I JUST WANTED TO CREATE
LIKE A LIFE PATH FOR MYSELF
THAT COULD BE SUCCESSFUL
FOR MY FAMILY,
BUT ALSO WANTED
TO BE A ROLE MODEL
FOR OTHER STUDENTS
AND OTHER INDIGENOUS YOUTH
TO SEE THAT IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND
TO IT YOU'RE ABLE TO DO IT,
IT'S JUST A MATTER OF ACTUALLY
GOING THROUGH WITH IT.
AND HAVING LIKE ORGANIZATIONS
LIKE INDSPIRE TO ACTUALLY HELP
ENCOURAGE THAT REALLY HELPS,
BECAUSE YOU SEE
THAT THERE'S SUPPORT
AND THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY
BELIEVE IN YOU,
AND I THINK ACTUALLY HAVING
THE HOPE
THAT SOMEONE BELIEVES
IN YOU IS SOMETHING
THAT REALLY HELPED
TO PUSH ME TO GO FORWARD.

NAM SAYS I'M REALLY SORRY
FOR YOUR LOSS,
AND YOUR FAMILY'S LOSS.
AND HEARING VICTORIA'S STORY,
EDUCATION IS EMPOWERMENT.
AND INDSPIRE IS ACTUALLY
YOU'RE STARTING YOUNG,
FROM KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12.

Roberta says WE DO HAVE SUPPORTS
FOR EDUCATORS WORKING
IN OUR CLASSROOMS,
SO THAT THEY CAN PRESENT
ROLE MODELS,
CURRICULA THAT'S MORE
SENSITIVE,
THE STUDENTS
CAN SEE THEMSELVES.
WE ALSO SUPPORT MANY EDUCATORS
THROUGH EDUCATION
THROUGH THEIR BURSARIES.
WE HAVE STUDENT CONFERENCES
STILL, CALLED SOARING.
AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS,
OUR STUDENTS ARE DIFFERENT.
THEY... BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE
WILL SAY TO ME,
"YES, ROBERTA STUDENTS NEED
A LOT OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT,
ALL STUDENTS DO."
BUT OUR STUDENTS ARE DIFFERENT.
MANY OF THEM HAVE
TO LEAVE THEIR COMMUNITY,
GO HUNDREDS OF KILOMETRES AWAY,
EVEN THOUSANDS, TO GO TO SCHOOL.
THEY LEAVE THEIR CULTURE,
THEY LEAVE THEIR FAMILY,
THEY LEAVE THEIR LANGUAGE, THEY
LEAVE THE SUPPORT OF ELDERS,
THEY LEAVE CEREMONY... ACCESS
TO CEREMONIES.
SO JUST BY GETTING
IN THE FRONT DOOR
AT THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION,
THEY'VE OVERCOME A LOT.
SO ANY SUPPORT THAT WE CAN
PROVIDE THEM,
AND WE'RE WORKING RIGHT
NOW ON A MENTORSHIP,
A MORE ROBUST
MENTORSHIP PROJECT... THAT WILL GIVE MORE WRAPAROUND
SERVICES FOR THEM
IN INSTITUTIONS.
AND WE'RE WORKING ALSO
WITH COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
SO THAT ONCE
THEY ARRIVE,
THEY ARE IN
A RESPONSIVE ENVIRONMENT,
BECAUSE THAT'S THE NEXT THING:
THEY CAN COME IN
BUT CAN WE RETAIN THEM?

NAM SAYS AND HAVING A SAFETY NET
IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

Roberta says ABSOLUTELY; A SAFETY NET,
ACCESS TO A STUDENT CENTRE
THAT UNDERSTANDS
INDIGENOUS STUDENTS,
WHERE STUDENTS CAN
GATHER... VICTORIA'S NODDING.
I THINK WE TALKED ABOUT
THIS JUST BEFORE WE CAME IN... ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF THESE SUPPORTS
AND MUCH MORE TO BE DONE.

NAM SAYS AN UPCOMING FILM THAT
YOU'RE WORKING ON
IS THE FILM ADAPTATION
OF THOMAS KING'S BOOK
THE INCONVENIENT INDIAN.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED
WITH THAT PROJECT
AND HOW EXCITING IS THAT?

[LAUGHTER]

NAM SAYS LIKE, OH MY GOSH!

The caption changes to "The road ahead."

Victoria says I KNOW.
SO THE ONE OF THE
CINEMATOGRAPHERS FOR THE FILM,
SHE KNEW ME TO THIS OTHER
PRODUCTION COMPANY
THAT I INTERNED AT CALLED
LOUDWEAR PRODUCTIONS,
AND SHE JUST REMEMBERED ME
THROUGH LIKE THAT CONNECTION.
AND SO SHE REACHED OUT TO ME
LAST SUMMER AND WAS JUST LIKE,
"ARE YOU AROUND TORONTO
THIS SUMMER,
DO YOU WANT TO COME ON
TO THIS PROJECT?"
BECAUSE MICHELLE LATIMER,
THE DIRECTOR,
REALLY WANTED TO HAVE
MORE INDIGENOUS CREW
AS A PART OF LIKE THE PROCESS.
AND SO I JUST HAPPENED TO BE
FREE THAT WEEKEND
[LAUGHTER]
SO I WAS LIKE, "YES, OF COURSE,
I WILL COME ON AND I'LL HELP."
AND SO I MET MICHELLE
THAT DAY ON SET,
AND THEN I MET THOMAS KING
THAT DAY AS WELL.
THEY ARE BOTH AMAZING PEOPLE
AND THEY JUST...

NAM SAYS WAS IT SURREAL?
IT WAS A LITTLE BIT SURREAL

Victoria chuckles and says IT'S FUNNY,
BECAUSE I ACTUALLY KNEW MICHELLE
THROUGH SOMEONE ELSE AS WELL,
BUT WE DIDN'T KNOW
THAT WE HAD THAT CONNECTION.
AND SO THAT WAS JUST LIKE
A FUNNY LITTLE CONNECTION
'CAUSE SHE'S ALSO FROM
THUNDER BAY ORIGINALLY,
AND SO WE BONDED OVER THAT.
AND THEN THOMAS KING
IS JUST A CHARACTER HIMSELF,
VERY MUCH HIMSELF.

NAM SAYS ICON, YEAH.

Victoria says VERY ICON, YEAH.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Victoria says IT WAS VERY NICE TO JUST LIKE
SPEAK TO HIM
AND JUST LIKE HEAR
HIS STORIES,
AND HE'S JUST
SO PERSONABLE HONESTLY.

NAM SAYS AS YOU LOOK BEYOND
YOUR SCHOOL YEARS,
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO
ACCOMPLISH IN THE FILM WORLD?

Victoria says WELL, I WANT TO CONTINUE
MY CAREER AS A DIRECTOR
AND JUST CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE
FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
I WANT TO RAISE
OUR VOICES,
I WANT TO JUST CONTINUE
BEING A ROLE MODEL,
AND I WANT TO HELP AS MANY
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AS I CAN
TO GET THEIR STORIES
AND VOICES OUT THERE.

Nam says WELL, VICTORIA, IT'S NICE TO
KNOW YOU NOW THAT... YOU KNOW,
BEFORE YOU BECOME FAMOUS
[LAUGHTER]
AND WE'RE CALLING YOU,
TRYING TO GET YOU IN THE SHOW.
CONTINUED SUCCESS,
WELL DONE.

Victoria says THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

NAM SAYS AND MS. JAMIESON, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE,
FOR ALL THE WORK THAT YOU DO.
YOU HAD TO ALLOW ME TO JUST
SNEAK IT IN A LITTLE

[LAUGHTER].

Roberta says THANK YOU.

NAM SAYS THANK YOU BOTH.

Watch: Aiding Indigenous Education