Thu, Mar 25 | Via Zoom

Survivors and Thrivers

Hear the stories of six extraordinary Indigenous people who bring hope and light to their communities. This series will give you a look into the many realities of the history of Indigenous people in Canada and our innate ability to rise above to being the best to our people.

Time & Location

Mar 25, 12:00 PM MDT
Via Zoom

About the Event

In this six part speakers series you will have the opportunity to hear six different stories of Indigenous survival. You will also get to hear about the strenght and what these six incredible people are doing to ensure their communities continue to thrive. We are honoured to bring to you Sharon Gladue a Sixties Scoop Survivor, Elaina Myles who will share about the Justice System, Larry Audlaluk High Arctic Relocation, Josephine Small a Day School Survivor, Jay Jones a Residential School Intergenerational Survivor and Sierra Hill who will share about the Metis Experience. Sessions will be live Via Zoom every Thursday starting March 25th to April 29th @12:00-1:00pm MST. Please see below information for recording details if these times do not work with your schedule. 

March 25th

Sharon Gladue is a Cree First Nation born 1968 in Turtleford Saskatchewan as Sharon Joan Paskimin and registered as a Thunderchild band member. She was apprehended from Little Pine First Nation (Her dad’s reserve) by Saskatchewan’s Children Services and at the age of 7 (1975) She was then adopted out to a half German and half Scottish family on the outskirts of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This practice became known as the infamous“Sixties Scoop.”

In 1989 she left Saskatchewan and came west to Edmonton and started a family (a son who passed away and now has 1 daughter and 4 sons) as well as pursued an education in Indigenous Social Work and began working through her grief and trauma by becoming employed by a grief and trauma specialist. She finally understood that she had abandonment issues and that she was still grieving for the loss of her childhood, her family, her culture, her language and the land she was once a part of.

She strongly believes that she walks on Mother Earth to assist others who have gone through the Sixties Scoop as well as mentor those families who are impacted by Children Services. She dedicates her life…her work to her children, her grandchildren and to those who are affected by the Child Welfare System.

April 1st

Elaina Myles is a proud Metis woman, born and raised in Edmonton. Her educational and career path have been centred in criminal justice, fueled by her desire to use her own experiences and knowledge of historic and intergenerational trauma to support healing for Indigenous peoples involved in the justice system.

Elaina has had the honour to work with and learn from Elders and Knowledge Keepers across Treaty 6 and has been involved in many ceremonies that have helped her reconnect and reclaim who she is. These opportunities have helped her on her own healing journey while also informing her service delivery to support healing for others through an Indigenous cultural lens. Elaina incorporates traditional knowledge, culture and spirituality in her practice and holds the fundamental belief that individuals, families and communities can heal from the impacts of historic and intergenerational trauma by reconnecting with our traditional ways.

Elaina has worked to provide support and healing for her community in various capacities including frontline work in family reunification and community based rehabilitation for youth. Her experience being raised in a matriarchal family has fueled her passion to support women to heal, inspiring her work within public safety at a women’s healing lodge for federally incarcerated Indigenous women.

April 8th

Larry Audlaluk has been an ambassador and leader for his community of Grise Fiord and for the High Arctic throughout his life. In 1953, his family and several others from northern Quebec and Pond Inlet were relocated to a remote area of Ellesmere Island. Grise Fiord remains the northernmost civilian community in North America, and he is its longest-living resident. He serves in several leadership roles within his community and represents Grise Fiord within the larger territory of Nunavut. A warm and caring individual, he is renowned for his knowledge of the history of the North and for his efforts to preserve and promote the rich heritage of his region.

April 15th

Josephine Small is from the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta. She is the 4th oldest of 12 children.   She had 3 children of her own, one daughter who has passed into the spirit world, two sons,  and seven little people  that call her nohkom (grandmother).   Her first language is Cree and her Cree name is Ka-wi-chi-pi-mi-ha-wi-mot  Is-kwew which means Flying with the Birds Woman. Her Twitter name is Kokom Tweets so please follow her as she is trying to get famous people to follow her.

Josephine is a Day School Survivor of the Ermineskin Indian Residential School.  Her parents were also  residential school survivors of the same school, but they have both passed on to the spirit world.  She co-presented with Charlene Bearhead at the WIPCE  2014 Conference in Honolulu  on Residential Schools and the Project of Heart.  She also presented at WIPCE 2011 in Cuso, Peru on Language Revitalization using Technology.  Josephine was  part of the cast of a children’s show called  “Tansi Nehiyawetan” that taught children how to speak Cree using television media and was shown on APTN for three seasons.

Josephine  obtained her  Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge in 1995 and has  taught  the Cree language  for the majority of her career.  She has seven Masters and those would be all her grandchildren.

Josephine grew  up in a  very traditional Cree family and was  totally immersed in her language and culture.  She feels her upbringing is now opening doors for her  in Western Society as it moves forward with reconciliation.   Josephine has been part of Wolf Creek Public Schools since 2018 in her role as the  First Nation Metis and Inuit Learning Support Coach.

April 22nd

Jay Jones

My blood is from Walpole Island First Nation in southern Ontario, Bkejwanong Territory (Where the Waters Divide).

I am a 5th generation Intergenerational Indian Residential School Survivor. Four generations on my father’s side before me were IRS survivors and two generations on my mother’s side.

I am currently the President of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, a grassroots organization that was formally started in 1981 with healing and Indian Residential School education being the main focus. My mother was a founding member of this group along with other elders/survivors from Shingwauk Indian Residential School.

I am a committee member for the Missing Children and Unmarked Burials, a national committee to find burial places of IRS students. I also belong to 2 other committees that address the Indian Residential School story associated with Algoma University.

I’m also a dedicated and active volunteer for Michigan Special Olympics for 33 years.

I am an automotive designer by trade working for General Motors.

I am a proud father of one son, Dakota.

April 29th

Sierra Hill is of English (Maternal) and Metis (Paternal) background. Sierra was born and raised in Winnipeg – Treaty One and the Heart of the Homeland of the Metis Nation. Sierra is finishing her Bachelors of Arts in Honours History with a double major in Sociology. As Sierra was growing up, her parents always recognized her Metis heritage but was raised in a very 'Western-English' house and education. Her Grandmother on her father's side grew up in the Metis Road Allowance community on Winnipeg's former fringe named Rooster Town. Through this, her Grandmother was raised in impoverished and racist conditions that created a disconnection of Metis pride and identity that was felt throughout the generations. As Sierra has navigated through her post-secondary education, she begun to reconnect with her Metis heritage. Reconnecting with her heritage has created enormous benefits for Sierra, such as pride within identity, stronger kinship and relationship connections, and mental health benefits. Her reconnection has been supported by family members, educators and now through her career as she began working for the Manitoba Metis Federation – working on the development of the Metis Nation Heritage Centre.

We are so honoured to share with you this incredible line up of amazing Indigenous people. We can't wait to hear their stories and honour their work in this series. We hope to see you all there.

A reminder these sessions will be recorded and available for the week following each session. If you register and can not attend the sessions live please email us and let us know you will be needing the recording. 

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