I live in a small community in which the population has expanded. It's an hour north of Montreal, and we get a lot of tourists who don't even know we exist here.
One of the things I think is a really tiny thing to do with regard to land back and parks is to create names and streets in indigenous languages. It's a really small thing to do. If I go to the Montreal airport, I see every kind of language up there that says “hello” or “welcome”, but I don't see any indigenous languages there. It's a really small thing.
You know, it is something that is needed. For the metropolitan indigenous peoples to see that their identity is reflected back in this place, when they've had to leave their homes because they don't have the jobs.... Most people who become educated can't work in the community. It's not that they're.... They can't work for the band council unless they're a lawyer. A lot of jobs are dependent on providing services.
I think that, for the indigenous population that lives in these urban areas, it would be nice to give them a home away from home, whether that's a community centre or whether that's setting aside some land where they can see the traditional medicines and the traditional plants indigenous to that area. It's really small things.
We have been colonized for so long, and it could take another 150 years before we get to where we really want to go, but we need to discuss this amongst ourselves. I don't have all the answers and neither do you. I feel like we're always spinning our wheels in the mud and just thinking about the really tiny gestures when the public—society itself—is not educated as to the colonial history of the land they're living on or is not even aware of the genocide that took place.
We think about those young children who never came home from Indian residential schools. It shouldn't just be a day. It shouldn't just be a month. It should be everything embedded into every aspect of Canadian society, whether it's federal, provincial or even in the community.