Last week was pretty crazy for me (and lets be honest everyone) between all the course work I had, it just so happens that both my mother and stepfathers birthdays land within a week of each other (and this seems to happen every year…hmmmmm) . Therefore my bank account is crippled to say the least; never the less I had no problem putting off my political theory work (its not that I don’t like you Socrates, I just don’t understand a word your saying) this past weekend to partake in the unique opportunity to volunteer at First Nations House 20th Anniversary gathering.
I am an Aboriginal student here at U of T and spend a lot of my time in and out of First Nations House (FNH), but for those of you who are not familiar with First Nations House, it is a smaller organization at the University of Toronto which not only runs the Aboriginal Studies department, but also represents a home for events, programming, scholarships, and really anything First Nations, Metis and Inuit related. Also I enjoy that they feed me on Fridays 🙂
This event was principally important though,mainly because during the past 2 decades the Aboriginal community at U of T has expanded 10 fold, from a mere 50 students back in 1992 to now over 500+. Not only is this a monumental achievement for the Aboriginal youth here in the Toronto area, but it also represents a greater national shift for the Aboriginal community from reserve and rural communities to the urban environment and also into post secondary institutions as a result. This shift compounded with the Aboriginal community being the fastest growing segment of Canadian society makes it all that more symbolic and important.
The gathering itself was quite amazing, it was held in the William Doo Auditorium at New College and had a great turn out of not only dancers, attendants, and families, but also volunteers. I was in charge of the vendor tables and got to meet some really great authors who were promoting their work as well as some unique craft sellers who have been hitting the pow wow trail all summer long, and had some great stories to tell. Lee Maracle (the in house writer for FNH and a respected elder in the Aboriginal community) also spoke alongside the MC during the proceedings.
All in all it was a fantastic event, which I was extremely proud to be part of. Also, If any of you readers would like to check out First Nations House or the Aboriginal Studies department here at U of T, I have included a link below to First Nations House.
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