A demonstration walk was held in Brantford for the ‘Our Dreams Matter Too’ campaign in Brantford on Thursday.
Influenced by Shannen’s Dream and Jordan’s Principle, the walks have been organized by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada to advocate for First Nation children’s equality.
Shannen Koostachin was an advocate from the Attawapiskat First Nation that effortlessly tried to convince the Federal government to provide First Nations children proper education, before passing away in 2010 at the age of 15.
Jordan River Anderson from Norway House Cree First Nation in Manitoba was born with complex medical needs and spent more than two years unnecessarily hospitalized while the Federal government and the Province of Manitoba “argued” over which would pay for his at home care.
Both have left an imprint on First Nations communities today and are the driving forces behind campaigns such as the Our Dreams Matter Too Walk.
Similar walks were held across the country to bring forth support for culturally based equity for First Nations children.
Brantford’s ‘Our Dreams Matter Too’ walkers travelled down Brant Avenue from Colbourne Street to St. Paul Avenue with signs, peacefully offering sheets with an address to send letters to the Prime Minister, along with a Twitter and email and petition for people to sign in support of equitable treatment of First Nations children in Canada.
Last year the 4th annual national walk date was held, with over 31 individual walks held across Canada and over 4000 supporters.
This year, the walk was brought to the Dedwadadehsnye’s Aboriginal Health Centre in Brantford from Brantord Mayor Chris Friel and Joanne Hubb of the Catholic Women’s League. Leigh Staats helped organize the walk.
“I think today went amazing. It was pretty short notice so to have the number of people that showed up is great. And it shows that people want to do something to create the awareness and advocate for our kids,” said Staats.
Staats said youth and children are very important to First Nations communities, and how even a single person can make a difference.
“We’ll definitely organize something for next year and start planning early and see how we can make it bigger, and reach more people. Get school boards on board hopefully, bring students, or have students do their own awareness things within their own neighbourhoods,” she said. “I think once people know what it’s about and somebody takes the initiative to create the awareness around what the fight is for, which is First Nations children’s rights for equality and culturally based teachings, it will grow.”
Cutline KW 1-2: Walkers marched with signs in hand down Brant Avenue.
Cutline KW 3: Supporters and walkers pose together with their signs after finishing the walk.