Transcript: Bobby Narcisse | Jul 28, 1994

(music plays)

The opening sequence begins.
Fast clips show the daybreak on a lake, birds flying in the sky, and a house covered with snow.

A song says TALK TO ME, SO I CAN HEAR
YOUR VOICE LIKE A LAKE
SO DEEP AND CLEAR
SOARING THROUGH THE
TOPS OF THE TREES,
DANCING BY MY WINDOW
LIKE A WIND BLOWING THROUGH
MY DOOR, DISTANT VOICES,
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Bobby Narcisse. Youth Worker." Bobby is in his twenties, clean-shaven with black hair. He wears a dark green patterned shirt and black trousers.

Bobby says I USED TO THINK
THE RESERVE IS EVERYTHING,
THIS IS MY WORLD.
I LOVE IT HERE
AND WHATEVER.
BUT EVER SINCE I
STARTED GOING TO SCHOOL
AND EVERYBODY
WAS TELLING ME
THERE'S A BIG
WORLD OUT THERE.
YOU COULD CHECK IT
OUT IF YOU WANT.

(flute music plays)
The title of the show appears in yellow letters. It reads "Distant Voices, with Eva Solomon, CSJ."

Against the background of a lake, a slate reads "Bobby Narcisse was born in Aroland, a small reserve close to the CNR line near Nakina, Ontario. Growing up on the reserve exposed him to many of the addictions common to young people his age, but he and a group of friends decided to form a club to stay out of trouble. They remained together until he was 16 and left the reserve, where he had to face problems of high school and city life. Bobby says adjustment is the main problem for those coming into the big city from the reserves, and because he successfully made it through that time himself, he volunteers at the Multicultural Centre in Thunder Bay to help other young people who are encountering these difficulties."

Bobby says I GUESS IT WAS
ACTUALLY WHEN I FIRST
CAME TO THUNDER
BAY HERE,
WHEN I WAS IN
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE
FROM DIFFERENT AREAS
OR DIFFERENT CULTURES
THAT WERE IN MY CLASS.
FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S
THIS ONE BOY FROM POLAND
THAT I BEFRIENDED.
AND AT THE TIME,
THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE
THAT WERE ALWAYS BEATING HIM
UP, OR PERSECUTING HIM
BECAUSE HE'S POLISH,
HE'S FROM POLAND.
SO I BEFRIENDED
HIM BECAUSE,
I DON'T KNOW -

Eva is in her mid-forties, with long curly brown hair. She sits in front of Brian in a wood cabin. She wears a colourful patterned blouse.

Eva says YOU IDENTIFIED
WITH THAT.

Bobby laughs and says YEAH.
FIRST THEY'D
SAY, OH, JEEZ,
AN INDIAN AND A
POLISH PERSON,
WHAT A COMBINATION,
OOH, OOH.
BUT THAT'S MY FIRST
TASTE OF RACISM AS WELL.
AND ALL IT TOOK WAS JUST
FOR ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF,
HELLO, HOW ARE YOU DOING?
TO THIS BOY THERE,
AND I FOUND OUT LIKE
HE WAS A NEAT GUY.

Children play in a schoolyard.

Eva says TELL ME A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT YOUR EARLY DAYS
ON THE RESERVE
ITSELF, BOBBY.

Bobby says MY EARLY DAYS.

Eva says A LONG,
LONG TIME AGO,
WHEN YOU WERE
LITTLE.

They laugh.

Bobby says YEAH, YEAH.

Eva says IT'S A SMALL
RESERVE, EH?

Bobby says YEAH, IT'S
A SMALL RESERVE.
BACK THEN I FIGURED IT
WAS A BIG COMMUNITY
BECAUSE IT'S SO VAST,
SMALL LEGS WALKING AROUND.

They chuckle.

Pictures show Bobby as a baby and then as a child next to his family.

He continues ANYWAY, MOST OF
MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES,
THOSE ARE PLEASANT
ONES, SPENDING TIME
WITH MY GRANDFATHER,
OR INTERACTING
WITH OTHER KIDS.
IT WAS INTERESTING BECAUSE
EVERYTHING WAS SO WEIRD
AT TIMES BECAUSE AT TIMES
EVERYBODY'S FAMILIES
WOULD BE ALL
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY,
AND ALL THAT
SORT OF THING,
AND NEXT TIME IF
A WEEKEND COMES,
EVERYBODY WOULD BE
PARTYING OR DRINKING,
AND ALL THAT.
MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD
WITH OTHER KIDS
WAS ALSO INTERESTING,
AS WELL.
LIKE, THERE ARE SOME
PLACES WE WEREN'T
ALLOWED TO GO TO.
WE COULDN'T PLAY ON
THE HIGHWAY BECAUSE
THERE WERE ALWAYS
BIG PULP TRUCKS
GOING ACROSS
THE RESERVE.
THE KIDS WOULD BE KIDS,
WE WOULD ALWAYS BE
MISCHIEVOUS, OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT,
PLAYING IN A BUSH,
GETTING LOST OR WHATEVER,
AND HAVING BIG SEARCH
PARTIES COME AFTER US
LOOKING FOR US, BUT IT'S
ALL PART OF GROWING UP.
BUT ALSO THE CHURCH HAD
A BIG INFLUENCE ON ME
GROWING UP ON A RESERVE
BECAUSE IT WAS MORE
OR LESS THE THING
THAT BROUGHT
THE RESERVE TOGETHER.
FOR EXAMPLE, LIKE
MASS WAS EVERY SUNDAY,
AND EVERYBODY -

Eva says EVERYBODY WENT.

Bobby says YEAH, MOST
EVERYBODY WENT.
AND I GUESS MY MEMORIES
OF THE CHURCH BEING
IN RESERVE WERE MOSTLY
QUITE GOOD AND POSITIVE.
LIKE SOME PEOPLE
WOULD SAY THE CHURCH
HAS BEEN DEVASTATING
TO MY LIFE.
THAT'S TRUE, THERE IS
THAT THAT HAPPENED,
BUT I'M GLAD I DIDN'T
REALLY GET TO EXPERIENCE
THAT OR WHATEVER.
I VIEWED IT AS MORE OR
LESS LIKE A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
OR WHATEVER UNTIL I
BEGAN EXPLORING MY NATIVE
CULTURE BECAUSE I KNEW
THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING.
AND EVERYBODY ELSE WAS
SAYING, WELL, YOU KNOW,
THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
DID THIS TO ME.
I HEARD A LOT OF HORROR
STORIES ABOUT SOME
OF MY PARENTS' FRIENDS
HAD BEEN THROUGH THAT.

Eva says WHAT DID YOU DO WITH
YOUR GRANDFATHER WHEN
YOU SPENT TIME WITH HIM?

Bobby says USUALLY, HE
HAD A TRAP LINE,
LIKE OUTSIDE
THE RESERVE.
AND WE ALWAYS USED TO GO
VISIT HIM WHILE HE WAS,
DURING HIS MONTHS
OF TRAPPING.
AND THIS ONE OCCASION,
WE WENT TO HIS CABIN
AND HE HAD THESE LITTLE
BOW AND ARROWS MADE UP
FOR US, FOR ME
AND MY BROTHER.
THEY WEREN'T
POINTED TIPPED,
JUST BLUNT TIPPED JUST FOR
PLAYING, SHOOTING AROUND.
BUT ONE TIME, THIS PRIEST
ALWAYS USED TO COME TO VISIT
MY GRANDFATHER, AND I GUESS
THEY WERE BUSY TALKING,
HAVING TEA, DISCUSSING
THE DAYS' EVENTS,
AND ALL THAT SORT
OF THING.
AND BEING THE LITTLE
FOOLISH KID I WAS,
I WAS JUST FLINGING
THIS BLUNT THING OUT
IN THE AIR.
AND I GUESS I WAS PLAYING
TOO CLOSE TO WHERE
THEY WERE TALKING AT ONE
TIME, AND I LET THE LITTLE
BLUNT THING GO, AND IT
JUST WENT WAY UP HIGH,
AND WATCHED IT, WATCHED
IT, WATCHED IT,
CAME DOWN, RIGHT ON THE
BACK HEAD OF THE PRIEST, EH?
SO MY GRANDFATHER
IS ALL EMBARRASSED.
OH, MY GRANDCHILD HITTING
A PRIEST LIKE THIS.
MY GOD, I'LL BE DAMNED.
SO THAT WAS THE END OF MY
LITTLE BOW AND ARROW THING.
I GUESS MOST PEOPLE
WOULD VIEW THAT AS POOR.
YOU GUYS ARE
LIVING POOR.
AND MEANWHILE, AS
WE WERE GROWING UP,
WE JUST FIGURED
IT WAS NORMAL.
WE THOUGHT WE WERE RICH
BECAUSE THE FAMILIES WERE,
I DON'T KNOW, HAD
DIFFERENT THINGS,
OR WHATEVER, OR
THE WAY THEY LIVED
THEIR LIVES AS WELL.
BECAUSE EVERYBODY
LIVED THE NORMAL LIFE
ON THE RESERVE.
EVERYBODY WAS SIMILAR TO
EVERYBODY ELSE UNTIL
YOU LEAVE THE RESERVE,
IT'S JUST LIKE EVERYBODY
SAYING, WELL, YOU'RE POOR
BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN
THOSE SHACKS OR SLUMS.
THEY'RE NOT
SHACKS OR SLUM,
THAT'S MY HOUSE
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
I GREW UP THERE.
THAT'S MY HOME.
BUT I GUESS THAT'S WHAT
CHANGES MY VIEW ALSO
OF THE RESERVE, BEING ALL
THAT MEDIA FOCUS ON IT,
BEING A BAD PLACE
OR WHATEVER.
IT'S MORE OR LESS
A WAY OF LIFE.
CHOPPING WOOD
BEFORE SUPPER,
OR GETTING WATER BECAUSE
YOU HAVE NO PLUMBING,
THAT WAS A WAY OF LIFE,
AND IT WAS ACCEPTABLE.
BECAUSE EVERYBODY
WORKED HARD TO SUSTAIN
THEIR LIVES THERE.
AND ALSO, I GUESS IT
BUILT FAMILY BONDING,
AS WELL, AMONG
THE FAMILIES.
BUT IT'S KIND OF HARD TO
HEAR PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE
SAYING, WELL,
YOU ARE POOR,
AND YOU GUYS DON'T
WORK TOO HARD,
AND YOU GUYS
SHOULD GET A JOB,
AND YOU GUYS ARE
ALWAYS ON WELFARE.
BUT MEANWHILE, IT'S
ALSO HARDER WHEN
PEOPLE FROM THE
RESERVE BELIEVE IT.
YEAH, WE ARE POOR.
THEY START LIVING THE
ACTIVE LIFE
THEY'VE BEEN
LIVING FOR SO LONG.
AND THEY START
BELIEVING WE ARE POOR,
WE'RE NOTHING,
WE'RE DIRTY,
LIKE WE DON'T GET
A GOOD EDUCATION,
SO WE HAVE TO RELY
ON THE GOVERNMENT,
SO THEY'RE GOING TO
GIVE US MONEY ANYWAY.
AND THAT'S KIND OF SAD
SOMETIMES THE MENTALITY,
SOME PEOPLE I'VE
TALKED TO ANYWAY,
THE WAY THEY TALK
ABOUT THE RESERVE,
AND HOW NOTHING
IS REALLY THERE.
IT'S TRUE.
THERE'S NOT
MUCH THERE.

Fast clips show people attending church, the houses of the community and the local vegetation.

Eva says BOBBY
LOVES TO TRAVEL,
AND HAS BEEN TO
VENEZUELA AS A VOLUNTEER
FOR CANADA
WORLD YOUTH.
IN THE POOR VILLAGES
OF THAT COUNTRY,
HE FOUND MANY
SIMILARITIES
WITH THE PEOPLE OF HIS
RESERVE, INCLUDING
A STRONG SENSE OF
COMMUNITY AND FAMILY.
I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU, IN
TERMS OF YOUR EXPERIENCE
IN VENEZUELA, WHAT
WERE THE SURPRISES
WHEN YOU WENT THERE?

A series of pictures show Bobby standing with a group of children.

Bobby says WHAT WERE
THE SURPRISES?
EVERYBODY WAS SO SHORT.
I REALLY STOOD OUT.
[laughing]
YEAH, I'VE BEEN WALKING
AROUND AND ALL OF A SUDDEN
MY COUNTERPART
WOULD SAY, YEAH,
WOULDN'T BE THAT HARD
FOR YOU TO PICK OUT
IN THE CROWD BECAUSE
EVERYBODY IS LIKE THAT,
AND I'M UP HERE
JUST WALKING.
BUT THE PEOPLE, THE WAY
PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES,
THE WAY THEY INTERACT
WITH EACH OTHER,
THAT REALLY
STRUCK ME.
BECAUSE AN OPPORTUNITY
TO SPEAK ON THEIR RADIO,
TELLING WHERE I'M FROM,
AND WHAT I'M DOING
IN THEIR CITY OR
COUNTRY.
I'M JUST WALKING
DOWN THE STREET,
AND PEOPLE WOULD BE
COMING OUT
OF THEIR HOMES OR
RESTAURANTS OR WHATEVER,
OR WHEREVER THEY WORK AND
SAY, HI, HOW YOU DOING,
MY NAME IS
SUCH AND SUCH.
I WANT YOU TO COME
TO MY HOUSE
AND MEET MY FAMILY AND
HAVE DINNER WITH US.
ARE YOU FOR
REAL, YOU KNOW?
YOU SERIOUS?
YOU WANT TO
INVITE ME?
I DON'T EVEN
KNOW YOU.
THEY HAVE SUCH HOSPITALITY
THAT IS SO GENEROUS.
IT APPEARS FROM WHAT MY
COUNTERPART TELLS ME,
THEY HAVE A LOT OF
PROBLEMS WE FACE UP HERE
AS NATIVE PEOPLE, TOO.
LIKE THEIR LAND CLAIMS ARE
MANY, BUT THE GOVERNMENT,
AT TIMES, DOESN'T REALLY
WANT TO RESPOND TO THEM.
SO THEY'RE REALLY IN A
DESPERATE STRUGGLE
MORE THAN WE
ARE UP HERE.
AT LEAST UP HERE
WE HAVE A DIALOGUE
WITH THE GOVERNMENT ABOUT
DIFFERENT LAND CLAIM ISSUES,
OR DIFFERENT QUALMS WE MAY
HAVE WITH THE SYSTEM,
BUT OVER THERE,
THEY'RE JUST -

Eva says WHAT ABOUT EVEN THEIR
STANDARD OF LIVING?

Bobby says IT'S VERY POOR.
SOME OF THEM, LIKE,
MY COUNTERPART
WAS FROM A MORE MODERN
SORT OF NATIVE FAMILY,
AS COMPARED TO THE REST
WHO WERE LIVING NEAR
THE NORTHERN
AMAZON AREA.
WHILE MOST OF THE
HOUSES GENERALLY
WERE MADE OF ADOBE
BRICKS OR SOMETHING,
SAND AND THIS POWDER
MIXED TOGETHER,
AND IT WAS MORE OR
LESS LIKE A MUD HOUSE,
IF YOU WANT TO
CALL IT LIKE THAT.
BUT IT WAS LACED
WITH STRAW OR TIN
OR WHATEVER THEY
COULD FIND.
BUT IT WAS VERY POOR.
BUT I WAS SURPRISED EVEN IN
THOSE LIVING SITUATIONS,
EVERYBODY WAS ALWAYS
SMILING OR HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

The slate changes to "Fortunate are the people whose roots are deep. Agnes Meyer."

He says I FOUND THEY
WERE VERY CLOSE.
THEY WERE VERY...
VERY FRIENDLY.

Eva says FAMILY-ORIENTED.

Bobby says YEAH,
FAMILY-ORIENTED AS WELL.
THEY WERE VERY
CLOSE TO EACH OTHER.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF I WAS
STAYING IN THIS ONE HOUSE,
AND I WOKE UP AND I JUST
WALKED TO THE KITCHEN
OR SOMETHING, AND
GOT SOMETHING TO EAT,
AND EVERYBODY ELSE WAS
SITTING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE,
LIKE THE MOTHER,
OR THE PARENTS,
OR EVERYBODY WOULD EXPECT
TO BE KISSED OR HUGGED
GOOD MORNING, THAT
SORT OF THING.
SO BEING FROM A FAMILY
THAT'S NOT VERY CLOSE-KNIT
LIKE THAT, I DIDN'T
REALLY THINK MUCH ABOUT IT.
SO I WENT ON
THE WHOLE DAY,
MY HOST MOTHER WOULD SAY,
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?
WHY ARE YOU ANGRY
AT ME, RIGHT?
I'M NOT ANGRY AT YOU.
AND SHE'D BE SAYING WHY
DIDN'T YOU HUG ME OR KISS ME
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT
THIS MORNING, WHATEVER.
OH, SORRY, YOU KNOW?
IT'S THOSE LITTLE BASIC
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
THAT I HAD TO CROSS
OVER OR WHATEVER.
BUT THROUGH TIME, I GOT
TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE,
LIKE SPANISH, AND IN
TURN, MY COUNTERPART
GOT TO KNOW A LITTLE
BIT OF ENGLISH,
SO WE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF
CULTURAL EXCHANGE THERE.
SO IT WAS THE BEST
SEVEN MONTHS SO FAR
I'VE EVER SPENT.
YEAH.
AND SOME OF THE STUFF I
LEARNED FROM THAT EXCHANGE
I BROUGHT BACK INTO MY
YOUTH COUNCIL AS WELL.
I'VE BEEN GOING TO
VARIOUS SCHOOLS,
TALKING TO CHILDREN
ABOUT MULTICULTURALISM,
ANTI-RACISM, THAT
SORT OF THING.
ALSO WORKING WITH NATIVE
YOUTH THAT ARE COMING
IN FROM UP NORTH, DOING
THESE ORIENTATION SESSIONS
INTO THEIR SCHOOLS,
GETTING MORE
COMFORTABLE WITH THEIR
SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT,
THEIR TEACHERS
OR THEIR PEERS,
THEY ARE ALSO
THERE, AS WELL.

Eva says HOW DOES IT AFFECT
THE YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO COME INTO THE CITY,
AND IN SOME CASES,
THEY DON'T COME IN TO
REALLY MOVE AND LIVE HERE,
THEIR FAMILY IS STILL
BACK ON THE RESERVE,
AND THEY ONLY COME HERE
FOR THEIR EDUCATION.

Pictures of students in a room and standing in a stage wearing traditional clothes flash by.

Bobby says YEAH, MOST CASES
THEY COME TO THE CITY
NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR,
TEN MONTHS OF THE YEAR,
AND THEY ONLY HAVE TWO
MONTHS TO SEE
THEIR PARENTS, RIGHT?
SO THERE IS A LOT OF,
THERE'S A LOT OF PROBLEMS
THAT WOULD BE BREWED
FROM THAT BECAUSE,
WELL, YOU'LL HAVE A
HIGH DROPOUT RATE,
AND YOU'LL HAVE A
FEELING OF LONELINESS,
AND YOU FEEL INSECURE.
ESPECIALLY FOR THE
GRADE 9's THAT
ARE JUST COMING OUT
OF, FOR EXAMPLE,
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND ARE
GOING INTO THE CITY
BY THEMSELVES, LIKE FOR
THE FIRST TIME AWAY
FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND
STAYING WITH A DIFFERENT
FAMILY; IT TAKE AS
LOT OF ADJUSTING
TO ACTUALLY STAY IN
THAT ENVIRONMENT.
BUT I FOUND MOST
TEENAGERS LIKE THE IDEA
OF COMING TO THE CITY, AS
WELL, SO IT'S A CHANGE
FROM THE RESERVE.
THERE'S MORE
THINGS TO DO HERE.
THERE'S MORE OPPORTUNITIES
HERE, MORE PEOPLE HERE.
AND SOME MAY THINK
IT'S BETTER HERE.
THEY LIKE STAYING HERE.

The slate changes to "In Canada 49 percent of Native children leave home to attend high school."

Fast clip show a port and school buses.

He continues ALSO IT GIVES A CHANCE
FOR THOSE NATIVE STUDENTS
THAT ARE GOING TO THAT
SCHOOL TO INTERACT
AMONG EACH OTHER.
BECAUSE WE FOUND OUT
BEFORE, FOR EXAMPLE,
SANDY LAKE KIDS WOULD BE
OVER HERE, AND WEBEQUIE
KIDS WOULD BE THERE, FORT
HOPE WOULD BE OVER THERE,
AND THEY WOULDN'T
EVEN MINGLE.
IF YOU PUT THEM IN A ROOM,
THEY'D ALL SIT RIGHT THERE,
THEY WOULDN'T HAVE AN
OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FRIENDS
WITH ANYBODY ELSE FROM
A DIFFERENT RESERVE.
AND THERE WAS A PROBLEM
A WHILE BACK ABOUT
RESERVE GANGS BEATING
UP ON ONE RESERVE,
AND THERE WOULD BE A
LOT OF CONFLICT THERE,
AND FIGHTING, AND JUST...
IT COULD HAVE JUST
ALL BEEN HANDLED BY
COMMUNICATION.
INTRODUCING THIS GROUP
FROM THE OTHER GROUP.
BECAUSE THERE IS ALSO A
FEELING AMONG DIFFERENT
PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT
RESERVES THAT MAYBE
MY RESERVE IS BETTER, AND
YOU GUYS SUCK BECAUSE YOU
GUYS STILL LIVE
IN SHACKS, OR
IT COULD BE
ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
IT COULD BE JUST
PERSONALLY.
I DON'T LIKE YOU BECAUSE
YOU'RE FROM THERE, YOU KNOW?
BUT WE FOUND IF WE BROUGHT
EVERYBODY TOGETHER INTO ONE
ENCLOSED AREA, AND
WE'D SEPARATE THEM
FROM THEIR RESERVES, YOU
KNOW, PUT THEM IN DIFFERENT
GROUPS, AND THEY'D BE
ABLE TO GIVE THEM PROBLEM
SOLVING INITIATIVES, OR
LEADERSHIP TRAINING AMONG
THE GROUPS, AND WE
FOUND IT WOULD BE
VERY POSITIVE FOR THEM.
BECAUSE THEY ARE
INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE.
BECAUSE THEY'RE LEARNING
MORE ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON
FROM ANOTHER RESERVE, AND
BECAUSE THEY WON'T FEEL
SO ALONE ANYMORE, OR
IT'S JUST ME THAT
THIS IS HAPPENING TO.

Eva says I CERTAINLY CAN
IDENTIFY WITH THAT KIND
OF EXPERIENCE BECAUSE I
ACTUALLY MOVED IN
THE MIDDLE OF GRADE 9
AND I CAME FROM
A VERY SMALL
VILLAGE, TOO.
AND WHEN I CAME INTO
THE HIGH SCHOOL,
THERE WERE MORE PEOPLE
IN THE HIGH SCHOOL
THAN MY WHOLE VILLAGE.
AND IT WAS THE FIRST
TIME I EVER CAME INTO
AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE I
DIDN'T KNOW ANYBODY.
I GREW UP KNOWING
EVERY SINGLE PERSON.
ALL OF A SUDDEN I CAME
AND THERE WASN'T
ONE PERSON I KNEW.

Bobby says YEAH.
ALSO SOME OF THE STATIC
THAT WE GET FROM,
FOR EXAMPLE, STUDENTS
THAT ARE NON-NATIVE,
WHEN WE TAKE STUDENTS
OUT TO THESE PROGRAMS,
FOR EXAMPLE, OVER THE
INTERCOM IN SCHOOL,
THE ANNOUNCEMENT WOULD
BE, ALL NATIVE STUDENTS
PLEASE REPORT TO THE GYM
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
MEANWHILE, THEY'D BE
TAKEN OUT OF CLASS TO GO
TO THESE SPECIAL
ACTIVITIES.
THEN YOU GET THE
STATIC SAYING, WELL,
HOW COME THEY
GET TO GO?
WHY ARE THEY SO
SPECIAL, YOU KNOW?
JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE
NATIVE DOESN'T MEAN
THEY GET SPECIAL
TREATMENT OR SOMETHING.
AND THERE IS ALWAYS THAT
STATIC AMONG STUDENTS
OR TEACHERS, THAT ARE
NOT EXACTLY AWARE
OF WHY THESE NATIVE KIDS
REQUIRE THIS SORT OF
SPECIAL NEEDS OR TREATMENT
BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT
FOR THEM TO GET ALL THE
SUPPORT BECAUSE LIKE
I SAID BEFORE, SOME OF THEM
ARE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES
NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR.
AND SOME OF THEM DON'T
KNOW WHERE THEY STAND,
AND A LOT OF THEM NEED A
LOT OF HELP WITH ACTUALLY
INTEGRATING INTO THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM, AS WELL.

(music plays)

Eva says BOBBY FEELS THAT THE
CHURCH INSTILLED POSITIVE
VALUES IN HIM WHEN
HE WAS GROWING UP.
BUT TODAY HE'S BEGINNING
TO SEEK OUT HIS
TRADITIONAL CULTURE, AND
LEARN WHO HE IS
AS A NATIVE PERSON.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS HE FEELS
HE CAN MAKE HAVE TO DO
WITH CONTRIBUTING TO
MULTICULTURALISM,
AND EDUCATING THE GENERAL
PUBLIC AS TO THE GOALS
AND ASPIRATIONS
OF NATIVE PEOPLE.

Pictures show a Christian cross, native objects set in a type of ritual and people sitting at a table that reads "Multicultural Youth Council."

Bobby says SOMETIMES THERE'S
HIGH TIMES IN MY LIFE,
OR LOW TIMES.
SOMETIMES MAYBE LIFE AT
HOME IS NOT EXACTLY TOO GOOD
AS I WANT IT, MAYBE
I SHUT IT OUT
OR RUN AWAY FROM IT.
BUT IT'S JUST MORE OR
LESS EVALUATING YOURSELF,
OR JUST TAKING TIME FOR
YOURSELF AND JUST REALLY
THINKING ABOUT WHERE
YOU'RE STANDING RIGHT NOW.
AND ACTUALLY TRYING TO
PUT SOME AFFIRMATIONS
INTO SOMETHING LIKE
SAYING, WELL,
MY GOAL IS TO DO
THIS OR WHATEVER,
OR MY GOAL IS
TO DO THAT.
OR I JUST MIGHT
THINK OF MY PROBLEMS.
LIKE MAYBE THINGS ARE NOT
GOING WELL IN SCHOOL,
OR MAYBE THERE'S A
BUNCH OF PEOPLE THAT
DON'T REALLY LIKE ME OR
SOMETHING, YOU KNOW?
BUT I DON'T KNOW, IT'S
JUST MORE OR LESS
TRYING TO BE IN
A POSITIVE MOOD.
ONE WAY THAT COULD BE
HELPED IS BY HANGING
AROUND PEOPLE THAT ARE
POSITIVE, AS WELL.
BUT THERE'S BEEN ALSO A
LOT OF ENCOURAGEMENT.
THERE'S A LOT OF
KIDS MY AGE
THAT WERE FEELING
THE SAME WAY.
SAYING THAT,
WELL, YOU KNOW,
THAT'S NOT A LIFE WE
WANT TO LEAD, RIGHT?
SO I WAS AMONG SUPPORTIVE
FRIENDS THAT WERE,
WE DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO
CONCENTRATE ON THE BAD,
NEGATIVE STUFF
OF THE RESERVE.
WE CONCENTRATE ON
DIFFERENT OTHER THINGS,
FOR EXAMPLE,
PLAYING HOCKEY,
RATHER THAN SPYING ON
PEOPLE WHO ARE DRINKING
OR WHATEVER, AND JUST
GETTING AN IDEA
OF LIKE HOW THEY'RE DOING.
THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE
HAVING A GOOD TIME,
WHY DON'T WE TRY IT?
BUT THANKS TO EDUCATION
AND WHAT PEOPLE ALWAYS
ARE PREACHING ABOUT, THE
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL,
I GUESS REALLY
HIT HOME FOR SOME OF US
BECAUSE SOME OF US DID
NOT CHOOSE THAT PATH.
THERE'S A FEW OF US THAT
SAID WE'D NEVER DO DRUGS,
OR WE'D NEVER SMOKE,
OR NEVER DO ALCOHOL.
AND WE'D FIND VARIOUS
ACTIVITIES FOR US TO DO.
THERE'S EVEN ONE INSTANCE
WHERE WE STARTED
A LITTLE RUNNING GROUP JUST
FOR FITNESS AND ALL THAT.
WE'D BE RUNNING JUST FOR
FUN AND HEALTH REASONS.
SO THIS CONTINUED
EVERY NIGHT.
AND IT WAS GREAT BECAUSE
MOST OF THE KIDS
THAT WERE YOUNGER SAW
THE OLDER KIDS LIKE US
DOING THIS, SO THEY'D
FOLLOW ALONG,
AND THEY'D PROBABLY
COME WITH US, AS WELL.
BUT AFTER A WHILE,
AS TIMES CHANGE,
PEOPLE GET OLDER, AND
PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE
THEIR OWN LIFE, AND THEY
WANT TO MAKE THEIR OWN
DECISIONS OR SOMETHING,
AND IT ENDED UP,
I LIKE THE IDEA
OF RUNNING, MYSELF,
SO WHEN THE RUNNING
FAD DISCONTINUED,
LIKE NOBODY WANTED
TO DO THAT ANYMORE,
I JUST DID
IT MYSELF.
I JUST WENT
EVERY NIGHT.
I DON'T KNOW, I
FELT GOOD DOING IT.
AND WHILE I WAS RUNNING,
I'D ALWAYS THINK OF
THINGS YET TO COME,
LIKE MY DREAMS,
LIKE I COULD ACCOMPLISH
THEM THROUGH HARD WORK.
AND THE HARD WORK
REFLECTED OFF
OF ME RUNNING.
PEOPLE GOING IN AND OUT
OF RESERVE WOULD SEE ME
RUNNING OR SOMETHING,
AND WAVE, OH,
THERE'S BOB
RUNNING AGAIN.
THERE HE GOES, GOING TO
THE TRAPS AND BACK
AS USUAL EVERY DAY.
AND THEY'D SAY, THAT'S
PRETTY GOOD, BOB.
AND THAT MORE OR LESS
GAVE ME A LITTLE BIT
ENCOURAGEMENT AS WELL.
LIKE THE IDEA OF MY
COMMUNITY RESPONDING
TO ME DOING
SOMETHING POSITIVE.
SO I USUALLY LIKE TO
THANK THEM FOR THAT.
IT ALSO CREATED THIS
DISCIPLINE FOR ME
TO RUN FARTHER, NOT ONLY
JUST JOGGING EVERY DAY,
BUT ALSO IN MY
LIFESTYLE, AS WELL.
LIKE RUN FARTHER
TOWARDS OTHER GOALS
OR DESTINATIONS.
THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE - I
DON'T SEE A TURNING POINT,
WHERE I START TO
SLOW DOWN OR WHATEVER.
I'M ALWAYS LOOKING
FOR DIFFERENT
AND NEW THINGS TO DO.
AND THAT KEEPS
ME GOING.

Eva says WHAT IS YOUR
GOAL FOR YOURSELF?
WHAT DO YOU SEE
YOURSELF DOING?

Bobby says BECOMING
PRIME MINISTER.
NO, I'M JUST KIDDING.
NO, NO, I HAVE ASPIRATIONS
OF GOING TO LAW SCHOOL.
I'M IN POLITICAL STUDIES,
AND I'M TAKING A MINOR
IN LAW AT THE
UNIVERSITY HERE.
AND HOPEFULLY, AFTER
I FINISH MY B.A. THERE,
I'LL PROBABLY MAYBE
TRANSFER ON TO A LAW
SCHOOL OR SOMETHING.
OR IF SOMETHING COMES UP,
MAYBE I MIGHT CHANGE
TO SOMETHING ELSE, MAYBE
SOCIOLOGY OR SOMETHING.
BUT GOING TO LAW SCHOOL
IS MORE OR LESS MY GOAL
RIGHT NOW.

A clip shows native children playing ice hockey outdoors. Then, pictures of a group of people jogging and Bobby in a newspaper article appear.

(music plays)
The end credits roll.

Produced by Jim Hanley and Jim Hyder.

Co-produced and Written by Patricia Michael.

Directed by Daniel Robinson.

Photographed by Peter Walker.

Edited by Patrick Malone.

Title theme by Rodney Brown.

Closing theme by Lawrence Martin.

Executive Producer, Jim Hanley.

A co-production of TVOntario and Sleeping Giant Productions in association with Vision TV.

Copyright 1994, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Bobby Narcisse