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Canadore College hosts Jody Wilson-Raybould

Dec 6, 2023 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist

Group with Jody Wilson-Raybould

Best-selling author and former federal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould recently brought her message of truth and reconciliation to Canadore College.

“It was such an honour to welcome Jody to the College,” said Carly Renaud, Manager, Indigenous Research and Development, First Peoples’ Centre. “Her talk on reconciliation really connected with me personally. She talked about resiliency and how Indigenous women (and peoples) must be relentless in their efforts to achieve their dreams.”

Wilson-Raybould has written three books. The first, in 2019, is From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada. It is a collection of her speeches and other writings on the topic of reconciliation. Her second book, Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, is the story of Wilson-Raybould’s time in federal politics and her experience as an Indigenous leader in Cabinet. The question Wilson-Raybould hears most often is “What can I do to help advance reconciliation?". Her most recent book, True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change, and the message she brought to Canadore, seek to answer that question.

“I learned that having a voice is an important thing in our culture,” said Canadore student Nathan Pamajewon. “To have a voice about truth and reconciliation is even more important because, after having the honour of meeting her, she encouraged me to incorporate many of the issues Indigenous people face and integrate them into my music as an Indigenous male hip-hop artist. It inspired me to touch on more subjects and turn a negative into a positive vibe."

“When she spoke about “the inbetweener”, which means breaking down silos between groups of people, this inspired me to continue educating people on the TRC’s (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Calls to Action, staying true to my values, and standing with integrity regardless of the cost,” said Canadore student Ishmael Van Der Rassel. “For me, seeing a well-respected Indigenous leader and author like Jody gives me hope for the future and that we, as Indigenous students, are the next generation of leaders who can bring transformative change to communities.”

“It was so powerful to hear her speak about her matriarchal role models and how to maintain hope in the face of adversity,” said Renaud. “Her inspiring words were so important for everyone who is committed to reconciliation to hear, because it helps all of us see how our work and our efforts contribute to creating a better learning environment for all. Jody’s talk highlighted how important action is when we are looking at reconciliation, and how words can only go so far. Her talk truly encouraged me to continue the important work we do at Canadore College and in the First Peoples’ Centre."

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