Imagine a Canada – Ontario youth envision Reconciliation
The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, today joined the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba in honouring eight young Ontarians who entered the Imagine a Canada national arts and communications initiative.
The youth were honoured in an awards ceremony in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite at Queen’s Park in Toronto. They are:
- Corinne Barrette, Ottawa – post-secondary student at University of Ottawa (essay)
- Guillaume Olivier DesRochers, Brooklin – Grade 12, Brooklin Highschool (poem)
- Sasha Ekomiak, Chisasibi – post-secondary student at Nipissing University (photo & story)
- Kimberly Kakekayash, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (also known as Big Trout Lake First Nation) – Grade 9, Aglace Chapman Education Centre (personal reflection)
- Hannah Morningstar, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation (also known as the Whitefish Lake First Nation) – Grade 9, St. Charles College (handmade Reconciliation basket)
- Avery Robertson, Corunna – Grade 7, Sir John Moore Community School (story)
- Emma Wilson, Woodlawn – Grade 8, Stonecrest Elementary School (story)
- Hayley Wong, Scarborough – Grade 8, Kennedy Public School (painting)
Following the awards ceremony, student winners participated in discussions on how to be involved in the Reconciliation process.
The competition, in its second year, is done in partnership with the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors across Canada. Young people were invited to share their vision of the country’s future through the lens of Reconciliation. Up to ten students were selected in each province and territory, with one finalist being selected from each province and territory to be recognized in a ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 20, 2017.
“It is our youth who hold the key to our future to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together to learn from each other,” said Ry Moran, director of the NCTR. “The act of reconciliation is a powerful tool when told through their vision, talent and foresight into where we need to go as a country.”
Students from kindergarten through undergraduates at post-secondary institutions were encouraged to take their place at the forefront of the conversation on Reconciliation. Students could enter by creating a story, poem, piece of art, short film or essay envisioning a Canada achieving real Reconciliation.