Geography, My Opinion On Indigenous Life In Toronto Ryerson University Reflection Report

464 words - 2 pages

Name: Golshid Riahi
Student Number: 500711948
Subject: Reflection Report No. 1
On May 15th our class hosted one member of the Anishnabe community named Aqua Nibii Wawaskone. She is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, artist, and activist. She shared her experiences as an indigenous individual who has lived her entire life in Toronto. Similar to most indigenous people, Aqua also has gone through many issues such as addiction, homelessness, mental breakdown, and etc. Unequal access to the health’s system, lack of access to facilities, higher rates of unemployment, low income levels, and more importantly still ongoing impacts of residential schools are examples of the obstacles that prevent indigenous people from healing and seeking a better life [1]. Although Aqua has never personally attended a residential school, she has not been excluded from the long-lasting effects of those schools. One of the survivors of a residential school says that we don’t know what love is, because we were not given love for ten months out of every year [2]. Moreover, she explains the reason for indigenous people drinking alcohol is because they suffered from a lack of love for a long time, and it is impossible for them to fill out that emptiness now [2]. The Native community still struggles with their problems, because they never learned how to solve them. It is very unfortunate that nothing significant has been done to help Indigenous community’s situation, but hopefully in the near future more will be done in order to improve their life condition.
Another point that made me shocked in the meeting with Aqua was her strength and her will to overcome her problems and succeed in life. She is an example of a successful indigenous person who has involved herself in sports, art, and cultural activities. She has a beautiful, and great way of expressing herself. Her words were powerful and meant a lot. She has the potential to be a role model for her community. This gives hope to the Indigenous people and shows them the possibility to heal and grow. She is playing an important role in delivering the message of her people by telling stories of their lives through theatre.
Nevertheless, it is very crucial that we spread the world about indigenous people’s living conditions, so some social movement will be formed. Aqua has done her part to help her community, and we also as non-indigenous people have to take part in this initiative. I would choose to make a change regarding my own role, by learning more about the indigenous community, participating in workshops, and building public awareness.
[1] Joseph, Bob. "8 Key Issues for Aboriginal People in Canada." Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. Accessed May 25, 2018.
[2] "Long Term Effects." Residential Schools. Accessed May 25, 2018.


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