Human Rights Day – What does it mean to DAREarts?
Last week, Canada lost a Leader in Chief Reg Maloney, of Shubenacadie FN, Nova Scotia. He was an advocate for Aboriginal Rights in Canada. He was Saqimaw of Indian Brook for twenty years.
His is a name that isn’t widely known among Canadians, but his influence is felt by many. Especially the artists and teachers who have been working with the students of LSK in Indian Brook. This past weekend was one filled with memories, and DAREarts is sending condolences to our family in Indian Brook with love. His daughter, Velvet Paul, who works at the school said, “I remember when I first sent the letter for you and dare arts to come to LSK he was very interested in the work that you and the students would be doing, Dad was a strong supporter of our school and loved all art. So once again I am touched by our work and all that you do.”
In Toronto and Vancouver, DAREarts is working with kids to break down barriers between them and bridge Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students through our programs. Our core program explores Canada through a prism of history, culture, art, politics and citizenship that exposes all of our strengths and accomplishments as well as our failures. Our kids will be the faces of Canada and the world.
Nelson Mandela is being celebrated today as a great hero. We are listening to speeches and watching images of great leaders shaking hands and speaking of the riches Mandella left behind. Canada is enriched by the cultures, languages and celebrations that people from all over the world have brought us. We are also witnessing our own Reconciliation with racial and cultural groups that have been marginalized in the past, but still have much work to do.
Thank you, Madiba, “Giant of History,” for always bringing our minds and hearts back to one essential truth. No one is above anyone else. No one should be put down because of race, religion, sexual orientation or belief system. Everyone has something to contribute to the world. Everyone deserves a chance to prove him/herself in this world. We think of our kids, the challenges they all face, whether it is lack of resources, expectations or experiences. We know that they ARE excellent.
Dalibhunga, thank you for reminding us once again of the reason we exist: that no child should ever feel hopeless.