“EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT” by Youth Empowerment Program Coordinator, Wes Hunter

The youth panelists did an amazing job sharing their stories.  I encourage anyone and everyone to watch the video recording the youth panelists sharing their stories. (https://www.facebook.com/InstituteInternationalWomensRightsManitoba/videos/1532117500258469/)

The whole experience was an eye opener aside from leaving Canada for the first time.

Each time I entered an event the people were very welcoming and helpful.

The mission reception had 2 elders from Yukon who shared amazing opening prayers.

I met a lot of amazing people Alexandria, Erika, Teruni, Youth panelist Jenny and Ashley and I had the opportunity, honor and privilege of spending time with them in New York.

It was an experience meeting Minister Monsef and Senator Mcphedran.

As an Ojibway man, I completely agreed with our youth chief Ashley Daniels stating “the systems do not work for us”, at the end of the day the government does not help people in poverty, instead it creates more poverty(raising taxes, higher cost of living, cutbacks on jobs, aiming to improving their own financial account instead of improving the quality of life for people on this land we call Canada), Canadians struggle to provide for their families and that is the pattern of the government since its first arrival to this land. There has been different governments throughout time but they all have the same pattern, which is keeping monetary value in rich people’s hands.  I was very proud how youth Chief Daniels put it.

As a father of 2 daughters myself, this experience has brought to me how I want my daughters to be treated, Equally, fairly and to be empowered. And for my daughters to be given the same opportunities as everyone else and to be part of such an organization such as this, because all of you have done a great job!!.

I would like to send a big Thank you to Southern Chief’s organization, Director of Justice Chantell Barker and CSW #63 for giving me this opportunity and experience and will not be forgotten. I also thank MKO’s grand chief Garrison Settee and his staff for being there and the support they provided.I will end off with this quote that comes to mind “if you want something you never had, You have to do something you’ve never done”.


Wes Hunter