Transcript: Tanya Talaga: Anishinaabe Teachings About Life | Nov 20, 2020

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

A caption on screen reads "Anishinaabe teaching about life. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says NEXT WEEK, AS PART OF AMAZON'S INAUGURAL CANADIAN AUDIBLE ORIGINALS SERIES, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST TANYA TALAGA TAKES LISTENERS ON A JOURNEY OF LEARNING. IT IS BOTH A DEPARTURE FROM, AND A CONTINUATION OF, HER PREVIOUS WORK WHICH EXPOSED RACISM AND THE TERRIBLE TOLL IT'S TAKEN ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. THE PODCAST IS CALLED "SEVEN TRUTHS," AND IT BRINGS TANYA TALAGA BACK TO OUR AIRWAVES TONIGHT FROM TORONTO...

Tanya is in her forties, with long black hair. She's wearing a black sweater and a patterned headband.
A picture shows the cover art for Seven Truths, with colourful traditional drawings of flowers and a bird against a purple-blue starry sky.

Nam continues HI. IT'S REALLY NICE TO MEET YOU, EVEN IF IT'S JUST VIRTUALLY Tanya.

Tanya says NAM, I'VE BEEN A FAN OF YOU FOR A LONG TIME, SO IT FEELS LIKE WE KNOW EACH OTHER THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT I'M SAD WE DON'T GET A CHANCE TO ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY MEET.

Nam says THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT BECAUSE I'M A HUGE FAN OF YOURS. MOST OF US KNOW YOU FROM YOUR WRITING, YOUR BOOKS AND NEWSPAPER COLUMNS. WHAT SPOKE TO YOU ABOUT DOING A PODCAST?

The caption changes to "Tanya Talaga. Host, 'Seven truths.'"
Then, it changes again to "Seven Grandfather teachings."

Tanya says YOU KNOW, THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT RETURNING TO ORAL STORYTELLING AND I HAD FOUND MYSELF DOING A LOT OF SPEAKING IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, AND TO BE QUITE FRANK WITH YOU, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I NEVER REALLY SAW MYSELF DOING. BUT AS I DID MORE AND MORE OF IT, I REALIZED THE POWER OF ORAL STORY, YOU KNOW, AND THAT'S A POWER THAT OUR PEOPLE HAVE HAD FOR SUCH A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. BUT FOR ME, I HAVE BEEN MORE OF A WRITER, SOMEONE WHO QUIETLY WRITES THINGS, YOU KNOW, IN A CORNER, AND THAT'S WHY I WENT INTO NEWSPAPERS AS OPPOSED TO TV OR STANDING ON A STAGE. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT OUR TRADITION OF ORAL STORY THAT REALLY, REALLY WAS SPEAKING TO ME, AND PODCAST SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT PLACE TO DO THAT IN, YOU KNOW? IT'S A WAY THAT WE COULD USE NOT JUST MY VOICE BUT THE VOICES OF SO MANY FROM OUR COMMUNITIES AND TELL OUR STORIES ALL TOGETHER.

Nam says WHAT ARE THE SEVEN GRANDFATHER TEACHINGS?

Tanya says THE SEVEN TEACHINGS ARE LOVE, HUMILITY, BRAVERY, WISDOM, HONESTY, RESPECT, AND TRUTH.

Nam says NOW, ON THIS JOURNEY, YOU'RE NOT ALONE. YOU'RE WITH SOMEONE THAT MEANS A LOT TO YOU, YOU'RE WITH AN ELDER. WHO IS HE AND WHAT DOES HE MEAN TO YOU?

Tanya says THANKS FOR ASKING ABOUT THEM. SAM MEANS A LOT TO ME. HE'S BEEN WITH ME SINCE THE DEATHS IN SEVEN FALLEN FEATHERS, I FIRST MET SAM THERE AND HE WAS ACTUALLY SITTING IN FRONT OF ME IN THE COURTROOM AND I REMEMBER... HE'S A TALL MAN AND HE SAT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND I COULDN'T SEE WHEN HE SAT DOWN. AND I REMEMBER, HE HAD A LONG BRAID AT THE BACK OF HIS HEAD AND HE WANTED TO PULL IT AND SAY, YOU KNOW, "WOULD YOU PLEASE MOVE? I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING." AND HE SEEMED LIKE A HAPPY GUY, A JOVIAL GUY, AND I REMEMBER AFTERWARDS GOING UP TO HIM AND SAYING TO HIM, JUST TALKING TO HIM, JUST ENGAGING IN CONVERSATION, AND THEN I NOTICED THAT HE WAS THE ELDER FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE SEVEN STUDENTS. AND WE STARTED TALKING LIKE WE HAD ALWAYS KNOWN EACH OTHER, AND THAT BEGAN A FRIENDSHIP THAT WE HAVE, AND I STILL SPEAK TO SAM... IN FACT, I WAS SPEAKING TO HIM THIS MORNING. I SPEAK TO SAM EVERY DAY. AND HE HELPS ME ON MY OWN JOURNEY. AND SO IT SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT... HE WAS THE PERFECT PERSON TO BRING FORWARD ON THIS PODCAST SO CANADIANS COULD HEAR HIS VOICE EXPLAINING THE SEVEN GRANDFATHER TEACHINGS.

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

Nam says IN THE FIRST EPISODE, LOVE, YOU DO DISCUSS THE SEVEN FALLEN FEATHERS WHICH YOU'VE BEEN ON THIS PROGRAM TALKING ABOUT. WHY WAS LOVE THE APPROPRIATE THEME FOR THIS AWFUL TRAGEDY?

The caption changes to "Finding love in tragedy."

Tanya says YOU KNOW, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE REMEMBER THAT WE'RE MOTIVATED BY LOVE. LOVE FOR OUR COMMUNITY. LOVE FOR THE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY. LOVE FOR OUR ANCESTORS. LOVE FOR THOSE THAT WE HAVE LOST. LOVE FOR OUR CHILDREN. AND ALL OF THE WORK WE DO IS NOT JUST FOR THE HERE AND NOW, IT'S FOR THE GENERATIONS AND THE GENERATIONS THAT FOLLOW, IT IS FOR OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN. SO WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT THE TEACHING OF LOVE, I WAS THINKING ABOUT THEM. I WAS THINKING ABOUT THE LOVE THAT HE HAS FOR OUR PEOPLE, THE LOVE THAT HE HAS FOR OUR COMMUNITY. AND ALL OF THE THINGS HE'S WEATHERED IN HIS LIFE. YOU KNOW, SAM IS A SURVIVOR OF THREE INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS. AND HE STILL GETS UP EVERY DAY, HE'S POSITIVE. SOMETIMES HE CAN GET LIKE, YOU KNOW, HE CAN GET A LITTLE ANGRY AND WONDER WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE. BUT IN HIS HEART, HE'S GOT HIS TEACHINGS, AND HIS ROLE IS TO PASS THOSE TEACHINGS ON TO OTHERS TO HELP INSPIRE US TO KEEP GOING, TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR OUR PEOPLE. AND THAT COMES FROM LOVE, A PLACE OF LOVE THAT WE ALL HAVE.

Nam says YOU MENTIONED THAT THE PODCAST, YOU ARE TELLING STORIES FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE. YOU ALSO SHARE YOURSELF A LOT IN THIS PODCAST, WHICH I REALLY APPRECIATED, BECAUSE I CAN UNDERSTAND IT'S PROBABLY NOT... IT'S NOT A VERY EASY THING TO DO. I WANTED TO SHARE A CLIP FROM ONE OF THE PODCASTS FROM THE LOVE EPISODE. LET'S TAKE A LISTEN.

An audio clip from the podcast plays with the caption "Voice of Tanya Talaga. Audio clip from Seven Truths."

In the recording, Tanya says HOW CAN I WALK A LIFE EVERY DAY OF UNDERSTANDING, OF PEACE AND LOVE, WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE STILL DYING IN THE WATERS OF THUNDER BAY, WHEN OUR WOMEN ARE STILL BEING TARGETED AND GOING MISSING, WHEN OUR PEOPLE ARE STILL INCARCERATED OR SHOT AND KILLED BY POLICE AT HIGH RATES? HOW DO I PUT ASIDE THE SORROW AND ANGER OF OUR SOCIETY'S FAILURE TO NOT JUDGE A PERSON BY THE COLOUR OF THEIR SKIN BUT BY THE QUALITY OF THEIR SOUL?

The clip ends.

Nam says THE THING THAT STUCK TO ME IN MY HEAD IS: HOW DO YOU MOVE EVERY DAY AND DO THIS WORK, AND THAT PART WHERE YOU SAID, HOW DO I PUT ASIDE THE SORROW AND THE ANGER? HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

The caption changes to "Tanya Talaga, @TanyaTalaga."

Tanya says THAT'S A TOUGH ONE, ISN'T IT? YOU KNOW, WE ALL MOVE IN THESE CIRCLES TO VARIOUS DEGREES. BUT AS AN INDIGENOUS PERSON, YOU CARRY THESE THINGS WITH YOU, YOU KNOW? AND LOVE MOTIVATES ME. IT'S HARD. IT'S HARD EVERY SINGLE DAY WAKING UP, WONDERING WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO HEAR THIS MORNING, YOU KNOW? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO HEAR HAS HAPPENED IN THUNDER BAY OR THAT HAS HAPPENED IN ONE OF OUR COMMUNITIES FROM COAST TO COAST TO COAST? WE LIVE WITH THIS EVERY SING THE DAY. WE LIVE WITH ALL THIS VIOLENCE. WE LIVE WITH THE FACT THAT OUR PEOPLE ARE POPULATING THE JAILS AT... LIKE, JUST INCREDIBLE LEVELS. WE LIVE WITH THE FACT THAT OUR WOMEN ARE STILL GOING MISSING AND ARE STILL SO BADLY TREATED IN THIS COUNTRY. WE LIVE WITH TWO TIERS OF JUSTICE. WE LIVE WITH OUR PEOPLE STILL FIGHTING FOR THEIR BASIC TREATY RIGHTS, FOR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS, FOR THE RIGHT TO HAVING CLEAN WATER. HOW DOES ONE EVERY DAY GO FORWARD AND SAY TODAY I'M GOING TO KEEP GOING AND I AM GOING TO TRY AND PUT ON A BRAVE FACE AND A HAPPY FACE? WE DO SO THROUGH COMMUNITY. WE DO SO THROUGH THE PEOPLE THAT WE STAND WITH. AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT THE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW AND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY ARE WONDERFUL, THEY ARE OUR YOUTH, THEY ARE OUR ELDERS, THEY ARE OUR LEADERS, THEY ARE OUR FRIENDS, OUR SISTERS, OUR BROTHERS, OUR AUNTIES, OUR UNCLES. AND WITHOUT THEM, WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT, THAT CONTINUUM THAT WE ALL FEEL, I DON'T THINK THAT I COULD DO THIS WORK. AND WITHOUT THEM, I KNOW I COULDN'T, ACTUALLY.

Nam says I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AS A REFUGEE WHEN I WAS MAYBE 10 YEARS OLD, AND I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, AND I'M ASHAMED TO SAY THAT I DIDN'T LEARN IT IN SCHOOL. I ONLY STARTED TO LEARN ABOUT IT MORE WHEN SOCIAL MEDIA, LIKE ON TWITTER, AND, YOU KNOW, I FEEL GREAT SHAME IN THAT EVEN WHEN I LOOK AT CERTAIN WORDS, I CAN'T PRONOUNCE THEM, BUT I SHOULD BE ABLE TO BECAUSE WE ARE ON TURTLE ISLAND. ONE THING THAT I REALLY APPRECIATE ABOUT THIS PODCAST IS THAT THERE'S A LOT OF HISTORY IN IT AND YOU'RE ABLE TO LEARN THE HISTORY BY LEARNING FROM PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE WHEN THOSE EVENTS HAPPENED. IN EPISODE 5, HONESTY, YOU TALK ABOUT FIRST NATION 5 IN NORTHERN ONTARIO. WHEN DID THAT EPISODE REVEAL?

The caption changes to "Being honest."

Tanya says THANKS FOR ASKING ABOUT THAT EPISODE. IT'S AN INCREDIBLE STORY AND IT'S A STORY YOU COULDN'T MAKE UP IF YOU TRIED. IT'S ABOUT A COMMUNITY OUTSIDE OF KENORA, ONTARIO, A COMMUNITY THAT FOR OVER 100 YEARS, THE CITY OF WINNIPEG HAS BEEN TAKING THE WATER FROM SHOAL LAKE 39 AND THE OTHER COMMUNITIES, SHOAL LAKE NUMBER 40 IS ALSO RIGHT THERE, AND A GIANT AQUADUCT RUNS FROM SHOAL LAKE TO THE CITY OF WINNIPEG AND IT DELIVERS WINNIPEG CLEAN DRINKING WATER EVERY SINGLE DAY. SO EVERY DAY THAT THE PEOPLE OF WINNIPEG GET UP AND THEY TURN THEIR TAPS ON, THEY HAVE THEIR COFFEE, THEY HAVE THEIR SHOWER, THEY'RE DOING SO WITH WATER FROM SHOAL LAKE 39 AND SHOAL LAKE 40. NOW, THE THING IS THAT SHOAL LAKE 39 HAS NEVER BEEN COMPENSATED FOR THE USE OF THAT DRINKING WATER, AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO USE THE AREA AND THE LAND THAT THEY HAVE LIVED ON FOR THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE CITY IS TAKING THIS WATER AND SHIPPING IT ALL THE WAY TO WINNIPEG, AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE IS STILL LAW ON ONTARIO'S BOOKS THAT ALLOWS FOR THIS. BUT ALSO HIDDEN IN THAT LAW, IT STATES THAT THEY WILL COMPENSATE ANY PARTY WHO IS INJURED BY THE REMOVABLE OF THIS WATER, YET THERE'S SHOAL LAKE NUMBER 39 AND THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN COMPENSATED FOR THE REMOVAL OF THIS WATER. IT'S, YOU KNOW, A STORY THAT IS ROOTED IN THE STORY OF CANADA ITSELF. YOU KNOW, THE STORY OF TAKING, THE STORY OF FAILING TO RECOGNIZE OUR RIGHTS AS PEOPLE, FAILING TO RECOGNIZE TREATY RIGHTS. TREATIES ARE LAWS OF THE LAND. THEY BUILT THIS COUNTRY. THEY'RE NOT JUST SOME PIECE OF PAPER THAT IS WORTHLESS OR MEANS NOTHING. BUT CANADA'S COURTS AND GOVERNMENTS HAVE TREATED IT AS SUCH. THE PEOPLE OF SHOAL LAKE 39 SHOULD BE COMPENSATED, AND THAT IS WHAT THIS STORY IS ABOUT. THIS IS A STORY, THIS WAS AN EPISODE OF HONESTY AND HOW CANADA NEEDS TO BE HONEST WITH ITSELF.

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

Nam says DOES CANADA HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE HONEST?

Tanya says YOU KNOW, WE ARE CAPABLE OF BEING HONEST WHEN WE CHOOSE TO BE HONEST, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT CHOOSES TO BE HONEST. YOU KNOW, THERE HAS TO BE POLITICAL WILL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. THAT POLITICAL WILL HAS TO START FROM THE PEOPLE ITSELF, YOU KNOW? YOU CAN CHANGE ALL THE LAWS YOU WANT IN THE WORLD, BUT UNLESS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS BEHIND THE CHANGING OF THOSE LAWS, NOTHING WILL GET DONE. AND SO WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF CANADIANS WHO PUSH LAWMAKERS TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND WHO THEMSELVES DO THE RIGHT THING. AND UNTIL WE DO THAT, WE'LL NEVER HAVE EQUITY IN THIS COUNTRY. YOU KNOW, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SHOAL LAKE AND THE REMOVAL OF WATER FOR THE PEOPLE OF WINNIPEG AT THE EXPENSE OF AN ENTIRE FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITY. IT'S INCREDIBLE TO ME TOO THAT THE CITY OF WINNIPEG HAS GROWN AND THRIVED OFF THE FRESH WATER OF SHOAL LAKE, YET THERE IS SHOAL LAKE NUMBER 39, THEY HAVE NOT HAD THE CHANCE TO GROW AND TO THRIVE AND TO BE THE POWER THAT THEY NEED TO BE, THE ECONOMIC POWER THAT THEY NEED TO BE AS WELL, BECAUSE OF LOSS OF THEIR WATER.

Nam says DO YOU THINK, AS I SAID, THERE'S... YOU KNOW, I THINK IT IS FAIR TO SAY THERE IS A GAP IN HOW HISTORY IS TAUGHT IN CANADA. I HOPE I'M NOT WRONG, BUT FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, IT IS. DO YOU THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT IF PEOPLE DID KNOW MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY, THAT THEY WOULD BE MOVED TO MAYBE ACT MORE?

Tanya says OH, ABSOLUTELY. YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I OFTEN SPEAK ABOUT IS THE NEED FOR EDUCATION REFORM. YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO TELL OUR CHILDREN THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY. WE NEED TO TEACH WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS THAT EXISTED FROM THE MID 1800S TO 1996 IN THIS COUNTRY. LIKE YOU MENTIONED, YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE WHEN YOU CAME HERE AND, YOU KNOW, YOU GO TO SCHOOL AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU'RE FINDING OUT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU'RE FINDING OUT THROUGH BOOKS AND THROUGH YOUR OWN LEARNING OF WHAT THE TRUTH IS. WE WILL ONLY BUILD A GOOD AND EQUITABLE CANADA WHEN WE START TELLING OUR CHILDREN THE TRUTH. AND THE TRUTH IS HARD, YOU KNOW? IT'S HARD TO ADMIT THAT WE HAVE BUILT A COUNTRY WITHOUT RESPECTING TREATIES, WITHOUT RESPECTING NATION-TO-NATION AGREEMENT. IT'S HARD FOR CANADIANS TO HEAR THAT THERE ARE TWO LEVELS OF CITIZENS IN THIS COUNTRY. THERE ARE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THERE ARE NON-INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. THERE ARE TWO SETS OF RIGHTS, YOU KNOW? THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED THE INDIAN ACT WHICH HAS GOVERNED THE LIFE OF EVERY SINGLE STATUS INDIAN IN THIS COUNTRY SINCE 1876, AND THAT IS STILL LAW IN CANADA.

Nam says I THINK CANADIANS TOO, WE DO HAVE... WE KNOW A LOT ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY, AND I THOUGHT IT WAS INTERESTING THAT THROUGH THE PODCAST, YOU COMPARED THE INDIGENOUS STRUGGLE IN CANADA TO THE BLACK CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN AMERICA. IN EPISODE 6 "RESPECT" YOU DISCUSS KENORA, ONTARIO. WHAT HAPPENED THERE IN 1974 THAT LED TO A CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISM?

The caption changes to "Fighting back."

Tanya says MIIGWECH FOR ASKING ABOUT ANISHINAABE PARK. THE ANISHINAABE PARK OCCUPATION HAPPENED IN THE SUMMER OF '74. YOU KNOW, IT'S SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE WRITTEN UP IN THE HISTORY BOOKS ACROSS CANADA, BUT OF COURSE LIKE MANY OF OUR STORIES, IT IS NOT. BUT IT IS A HISTORY THAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW AND THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE PROUD OF, PROUD OF FOR THE FACT THAT THIS WAS COMING ON THE TAIL OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE 1960S. THIS IS COMING ON THE TAIL OF WOUNDED KNEE, OF ALCATRAZ ISLAND, OF THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT, WHICH ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, BY OJIBWE PEOPLE, BY ANISHINAABE PEOPLE, AND MEMBERS WERE ACTUALLY THERE AT ANISHINAABE PARK. ANISHINAABE PARK AND IT'S A PARK WITHIN KENORA AND THIS WAS A MEETING PLACE FOR SO LONG, FOR CENTURIES, FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE WOULD COME DOWN THROUGH THE RIVERS IN KENORA AND THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE THEY WOULD STAY, THIS IS THE PLACE THEY WOULD LAY THEIR HEAD, IT WAS A GATHERING PLACE, IT WAS A MEETING PLACE. AND THAT PIECE OF LAND WAS TAKEN AND IT WAS TURNED INTO A PARK, AND FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE WERE NOT CONSULTED. THIS HAPPENED. AND IT WAS IN THE EARLY 1970S WHEN, IN THE CITY OF KENORA ITSELF, A CITY THAT HAS STRUGGLED VERY MUCH SO WITH RACISM AND A HISTORY OF RACISM, THE OJIBWE PEOPLE IN THE AREA, THEY WERE HOLDING A CONFERENCE IN THE EARLY '70S, LOOKING AT THINGS LIKE THE INDIAN ACT, LOOKING AT THINGS LIKE HOW COME WE CAN'T GET HEALTH CARE, HOW COME WE CAN'T GET DENTAL CARE, WHY ARE THE POLICE BEING SO BRUTAL TO OUR PEOPLE? I TALKED ABOUT THIS IN THE EPISODE OF THE AMOUNT OF ARRESTS, THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF ARRESTS OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE FOR DRUNKENNESS, GETTING PEOPLE... HOMELESS PEOPLE AND REMOVING THEM FROM THE LAND. THIS WAS IN THE EARLY 1970S AND THE ABJECT POLICE BRUTALITY THAT THE PEOPLE WERE EXPERIENCING. SO A CONFERENCE WAS HELD. A CONFERENCE WAS HELD BY THE OJIBWE WARRIOR SOCIETY, WHICH IS A GROUP OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE AREA AND SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS ISN'T OKAY ANYMORE. AND THROUGH THAT CONFERENCE, IT TURNED INTO AN OCCUPATION OF THE PARK. AND THE OCCUPATION LASTED AND IT LASTED, AND WE TELL THE STORY FROM ONE OF THE KEY FIGURES WHO WAS THERE AT THE TIME [INAUDIBLE] AND IT'S REALLY QUITE AMAZING LISTENING TO HER VOICE, BECAUSE SHE IS A FEMALE WARRIOR, SHE IS SOMEONE WE NEED TO HEAR, AND I'M SO GRATEFUL SHE WAS ABLE TO TALK TO US. HER PARTNER WAS LOUIS CAMERON AND LOUIS CAMERON WAS ONE OF THE OJIBWE WARRIOR SOCIETY FOUNDERS WHO STARTED THE OCCUPATION IN THE PARK. AND JUST AN ASIDE FROM THAT, THEY HAD A SON, THEY HAVE A SON NAMED TYLER, AND TYLER IS ALSO IN THE PODCAST, AND HE'S READING THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, REMEMBERING THE DAYS OF THE PARK, BECAUSE LOUIS CAMERON IS NO LONGER WITH US. AND, YOU KNOW, THESE VOICES ARE VOICES WE NEED TO HEAR. THEY ARE VOICES AND SINCE THE EARLY 1970S, THEY'VE BEEN PUSHING FOR THE EXACT SAME REFORMS AND EQUITY THAT WE ARE STILL ASKING FOR TODAY IN 2020.

Nam says YOU KNOW, THERE'S ANOTHER VOICE THAT WE DO HEAR ON THE FINAL EPISODE, IT'S SOMEBODY THAT'S NO LONGER WITH US. IN THE FINAL EPISODE TRUTH, YOU DISCUSS THE DEATH OF BARBARA KENTNER. WHO WAS SHE?

The caption changes to "Truth and Justice."

Tanya says BARBARA KENTNER IS, OR WAS, AN ANISHINAABE WOMAN. SHE WAS A LOVING SISTER. SHE HAD A FAMILY THAT LOVED HER VERY MUCH. AND SHE WAS WALKING WITH HER SISTER MELISSA ON A COLD JANUARY NIGHT ON THE STREETS OF THUNDER BAY WHEN A CAR PASSED THEM AND OUTSIDE OF THE CAR A METAL TRAILER HITCH WAS HURLED AT HER AND HER SISTER. IT HIT BARBARA SQUARE IN THE STOMACH. BARBARA KENTNER DIED THAT SUMMER AFTER THE HITCH HIT HER STOMACH, TRAUMATIZING INJURIES THAT OCCURRED IN HER BELLY. THE STORY OF BARBARA KENTNER IS A STORY THAT SPEAKS OF TRUTH. IT SPEAKS OF THE TRUTH OF WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR WOMEN AND GIRLS IN THIS COUNTRY. IT SPEAKS TO RACISM THAT CANADA STILL HAS NOT... HAS NOT FACED. IT SPEAKS TO THE RACISM OF THUNDER BAY. IT SPEAKS TO WHY IT IS OUR PEOPLE CAN'T SEEM TO WALK DOWN THE STREET AND HAVE RACIST INSULTS HURLED THEM, GARBAGE HURLED AT THEM, OR IN THIS CASE A METAL TRAILER HITCH HURLED AT HER. SO WE HEAR THE STORY OF BARBARA KENTNER TOLD THROUGH HER SISTER MELISSA WHEN THAT HITCH FLEW THROUGH THE AIR AND HIT HER IN THE STOMACH AND WE HEAR OF BARBARA THROUGH A JOURNALIST, AT THE TIME SHE WAS WITH APTN BUT NOW WITH THE GLOBE AND MAIL, AND SHE COVERED THAT STORY, SHE WAS THERE, AND SHE IS A FIRST NATIONS WOMAN WHO LIVES IN THE CITY OF THUNDER BAY AND EXPERIENCES THUNDER BAY EVERY SINGLE DAY. AND SO TO ME IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE WILLOW'S VOICE AND TO HAVE MELISSA'S VOICE, AND ALSO YOU HEAR BARBARA'S VOICE THROUGH WILLOW'S REPORTING IN THIS EPISODE CALLED "TRUTH."

Nam says THE MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING HER, BRAYDEN BUSHBY, IS CURRENTLY ON TRIAL FOR MANSLAUGHTER. WE'VE BEEN TALKING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT JUSTICE AND IT IS THE THEME THROUGHOUT THIS PODCAST. DO YOU THINK INDIGENOUS PEOPLE CAN GET JUSTICE IN CANADA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?

Tanya pauses for a moment, then says HMM. I DON'T. I THINK THAT WE REALLY NEED TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE NOW. IT IS A SYSTEM THAT WAS SET UP NOT TO DEFEND AND PROTECT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. QUITE THE CONTRARY. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN JUST SEE THE FACT... AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS EARLIER... ABOUT THE PRISONS OVERFLOWING WITH FIRST NATIONS, METIS. AND WHY IS THAT? WHY IS IT THAT WE HAVE A POLICE FORCE IN THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, MANY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HAVE DIED AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE. YOU KNOW, WHEN GEORGE FLOYD DIED IN THE UNITED STATES, I WAS MINDFUL OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN CANADA, AND MANY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE WERE MINDFUL OF THE LOSS OF LIFE THAT OUR PEOPLE HAVE HAD AT THE HANDS OF POLICE HERE. YOU KNOW, IT STARTS FROM THERE. IT STARTS FROM THERE. IT LOOKS INTO THE COURT SYSTEM. WHY IS IT THAT IT TAKES SO MANY YEARS FOR OUR LAND CLAIMS ISSUES TO FINALLY COME TO PASS, TO FINALLY BE HEARD? WHY IS IT THAT WE ARE NOT PROPERLY REPRESENTED IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM? YOU KNOW, WE ARE OVERREPRESENTED IN THE PRISONS AND UNDERREPRESENTED IN THE SYSTEM ITSELF. WHEN YOU LOOK AT JUDGES. WHEN YOU LOOK AT LAWYERS. WHEN YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE THAT ARE STENOGRAPHERS. CAN WE FIND JUSTICE IN THIS COUNTRY? WE NEED A NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS. AND THAT'S GOING TO TAKE, AGAIN, POLITICAL WILL OF EVERYONE TO REALIZE WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY FOR THE LAST 153 YEARS, HAS NOT BEEN WORKING AND WE NEED A NEW WAY FORWARD.

Nam says WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT. ONE OF THE EPISODES IS TITLED "HUMILITY," AND IT KIND OF STUCK WITH ME BECAUSE I THINK HUMILITY IS ON THE INDIVIDUAL TO FIGURE OUT HOW THEY CAN BE BETTER, THE ROLE THAT THEY PLAY. HUMILITY, WHAT ROLE CAN HUMILITY PLAY IN THE SEVEN TRUTHS WITH NON-INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN CANADA?

Tanya says HMM. YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT THAT TOO WHEN I WAS WRITING "HUMILITY." I WAS THINKING OF THIS PARTICULAR STORY, THIS IS A STORY, AN EPISODE I HOPE PEOPLE LISTEN TO, ABOUT TWO MEN, ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO WOMEN, AN INDIGENOUS WOMAN AND NON-INDIGENOUS WOMAN IN THUNDER BAY AND THE BIRTH OF AN ART STUDIO AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ALLY AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMBLE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO RECOGNIZE YOUR PLACE IN SOCIETY AND GIVING SPACE AND VOICE TO SOMEONE ELSE. AND WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT THIS EPISODE, I WAS THINKING, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SO MANY LESSONS HERE FOR EVERYONE IN CANADA. THERE ARE LESSONS OF HUMILITY THAT WE NEED TO HEAR. WE NEED TO MAKE SPACE FOR OTHER VOICES. WE NEED TO MAKE SPACE FOR FIRST NATIONS VOICES. AND WE NEED TO EXAMINE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ALLY. YOU KNOW, SOMEONE MAY THINK THEY'RE BEING A GOOD ALLY, BUT ARE THEY? YOU KNOW? IT'S DIFFICULT. IT'S DIFFICULT TO UNTEACH WHAT YOU'VE BEEN TAUGHT AS A CHILD, WHAT YOU HAVE GROWN UP IN, SYSTEMS THAT YOU HAVE GROWN UP IN, EDUCATION SYSTEMS, YOU KNOW, JUSTICE SYSTEMS, GOVERNMENT SYSTEMS, SYSTEMS THAT ARE... THERE'S SYSTEMIC RACISM, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHERE THE TERM COMES FROM. IT IS EMBEDDED. AND THE SYSTEMS... THEY'RE DRINKING THEIR OWN WATER, THEIR OWN KOOL-AID. WE NEED TO TAKE THAT AWAY AND START AFRESH AND MAKE NEW... NEW SYSTEMS THAT ARE FREE OF THE PAST.

The caption changes to "Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81."

Nam says TANYA, IT'S BEEN SUCH A PLEASURE TO SPEAK TO YOU. CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS PODCAST. I REALLY... I FELT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOU AND SAM, AND SEEING WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW WITH OUR ELDERS AND COVID-19, IT JUST BRIGHTENED MY HEART AND HOPEFULLY ONE DAY IN THE AFTER TIME, MAYBE WE CAN MEET UP AND I CAN BUY SAM A TIMMY'S.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Tanya says YOU KNOW WHAT? HE WOULD LOVE THAT, I WOULD SAY, AND I WOULD LOVE THAT TOO. MIIGWECH FOR GIVING US THIS OPPORTUNITY.

Nam says MIIGWECH FOR THIS TIME. THIS IS GOING TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HISTORY MORE AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU TWO IS JUST GREAT. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TIME. WE APPRECIATE IT.

Tanya says MIIGWECH. BE WELL.

Nam says YOU TOO.

Watch: Tanya Talaga: Anishinaabe Teachings About Life