2023 Youth Delegate
Métis Nation of Alberta
Grade 11, Central Memorial High School
My name is R. S. and I am in grade 11 at Central Memorial High School within the Calgary Board of Education. I am very proud to be a part of the Performing and Visual Arts Program. I am a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, and I was born and raised in Calgary. Drawing has always been a huge passion of mine, but at the start of grade 10, I found myself enjoying math and science, sometimes more than art class. Loving both numbers and art is certainly an odd combination, but it led me to my interest in pursuing architecture.
I first had the opportunity to consider my perspectives on reconciliation in Canada when I designed the logo of the newly renamed Riverside School. At the time, I didn’t have a strong idea of what I wanted to show in this logo, other than to ensure that it was an inclusive design that represented all Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at the school. While at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference in Vancouver, I attended a panel about land-based learning for youth. That is where I first encountered the idea of “the ultimate template for reconciliation”. This phrase struck me as something that I feel gets overlooked: what’s most important isn’t always finding a way to undo the wrongs of the past, it’s reconnecting with the Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who will be the driving forces of tomorrow.
Reconciliation is the connection between the past and how we live today. I want to make my voice, and the voices of all youth heard and included in this and all future discussions of reconciliation.