Brantford, ON – On Tuesday March 1st, 2011 Youth Representing 7 area schools including met with Federal New Democrat Candidate Marc Laferriere to discuss ways to support the Shannen’s Dream National Day of Action scheduled for April 27th, 2011.
“The work of Shannen and her community should be an inspiration to youth and adults alike. In an area like ours where Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal relationships are so important we’re uniquely suited to send a message that we need fairness in education for all kids,” said Laferriere.
“The youth in Attawapiskat and all over the country have organized on this. We’re part of that. It’s exciting,” said BCI student Ryan Jamula who also serves as the president of the Brant Young New Democrats.
The youth are hoping to arrange documentary screenings, art projects, drum circles, a letter writing campaign and vigils throughout the day of action.
Laferriere who arranged the first ever public screening of the Shannen’s Dream Documentary on Six Nations earlier this year with Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus notes that support continues to grow. “We’ve been having these discussions at screenings and with youth and people know a good idea when they see it,” Laferriere noted. “It’s an important issue and the more people who support it, who talk about it and who participate the further it will go. Kids shouldn’t have to beg for fairness from our government and they are not, instead they’re organizing. It’s up to the rest of us to listen to that and support it.”
Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation had a dream of “safe and comfy schools” having been educated in a portable on toxic land in her Northern Ontario community. She also fought for culturally based education for First Nations children and youth. She worked tirelessly to try to convince the federal government to give First Nations children a proper education before tragically passing away in a car accident at the age of 15 in 2010.
Shannen’s Dream has become the largest youth led movement in Canadian history.
On April 27th 2011 youth and adults from across the country will be participating in a National Day of Action to support Shannen’s Dream of fairness in Aboriginal Education. In Six Nations, New Credit, Brantford and Brant individuals, schools, groups and organizations are invited to make Shannen’s Dream a reality by hosting an event to show their support!
Write letters, contact your local media, put together community events, and make sure that your voice is heard. Share your ideas for raising awareness and taking action and make Shannen’s Dream a reality.
Get involved, and share your plans for April 27th! The Brant NDP are asking any interested parties to contact them to lend their support. They can be reached at 519-751-9111, firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.brantmarc.ca.
Area residents can also go to www.shannensdream.ca to sign an online petition and to see a short documentary on the subject.