In honor of this day, I would like to share with you all some amazing and inspirational indigenous people. I hope these people and their stories inspires and light a spark in you to use your voice for change.
Chief Doctor Robert Joseph
Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He also was the former Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Chief Joseph shares his journey of reconciliation, including his childhood experience at St. Michael's Residential School. His inspirational words of moving through trauma and informing the world with the reconciliation that is happening in Canada.
In November 2014 at the age of 16 Rinelle was left sexually assaulted and beaten half to death the banks of the Assiniboine River. After that she has been advocate and a voice for women who have been assaulted. For instance, she has assisted the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This young woman is a true inspiration she doesn't see herself as a victim but rather a voice for change.
Delbert Guerin (1938 - 2014)
Famous for the court case that bears his name, where the first Aboriginal community to successfully sue the federal government. The former chief of the Musqueam Nation, he has spent his lifetime defending and making sure that first nation rights are being kept and acknowledged. He credited his mother, an earlier chief, listening to her as a young child complain of the injustice that was happening.
Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865 – 1915)
the first American Indian woman in the United States to receive a medical degree. As a child, she had watched a sick Indigenous woman die because the local white doctor would not give her care. Which had inspired her to become a doctor and help people like the woman who had passed away. He had gotten her degree at Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, she than opened a private practice in Nebraska where she took care of everyone with all types of ethnic background.
Wilma Mankiller (1945-2010)
Wilma Mankiller was formerly the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She is also the first woman elected as chief of a major Native tribe. Mankiller worked to empower the surrounding Native communities in California, serving as director of Oakland's Native American Youth Center. She worked with the federal government for self-government agreement for the Cherokee Nation, as well as with the Environmental Protection Agency.