There are several things I have done, and I wanted to provide some examples:
Thesis which examined Youth Stories from the North Shore of Lake Superior, and Land Connection for Education & Health
Thunder Bay Friendship Centre Project
When I was invited in as a support staff with Elders in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Soon enough I was helping to support them in making a quilt to express their stories. I knew nothing about quilts, or making them; but that was not the point, this was about the Elders.
When I approached Kathy from the LifeLong Care Program in Thunder Bay that offers support for Elders, most of whom come to the city for health reasons, she was like “Lets build a quilt, I’ll help you, we will do this together.”
Soon enough Kathy and I were picking colours, fabrics and designs. She supported me by hearing my plan, which during that 8-10 month period, we learn about Human Rights, and build a quilt. Seeing the quilt up front really is impactful and it hangs at the Friendship Centre where the Elders can keep that special creation. Sarah Beardy took the lead role on sewing the quilt, which meant patching together each life portrait that the Elders created of themselves.
This experience proved the value of working together, taking time, and building community, spending time, learning, valuing, and hearing the stories and suggestions of the Elders.
The one that impacted me the most, “We want to be remembered on our Birthdays”, for this reason, I want to work this theme into my work by cherishing birthdays for each season, and a portion of my time will be spent honouring that wish.
They were not expecting me to call in the news and celebrate the occasion of the quilt building, though I knew our hard work had to be be remembered and shared with the community.
We had an official release of the quilt and celebrated at the Baggage Arts Building in Thunder Bay, one of the most beautiful arts spaces in the city which is nestled on the shores of Lake Superior.
Rematriate Campaign: I was honoured to be a part of this,