Cheechoo battles racism with education and empowerment

Cheechoo battles racism with education and empowerment

by ahnationtalk on June 27, 2016172 Views

Editor’s note: As today is National Aboriginal Day in Canada, The Brock News is publishing this article from an interview with Brock University Chancellor Shirely Cheechoo, who spoke openly about the legacy of her years in residential schools. Cheechoo’s inspirational story of finding her voice and using it to raise awareness about First Nations issues appears in the current edition of Surgite, Brock’s alumni magazine.

Shirley Cheechoo grew up believing her voice didn’t matter.

It was a message literally beaten into her during her years at residential schools.

Ripped from her family and physically, sexually and emotionally abused, Cheechoo was forced to be “more white.”

At 63, her life is coming full circle – from growing up at the mercy of a school system aimed at dehumanizing and marginalizing First Nations people to being named Chancellor of Brock University, an institution committed to forwarding Indigenous issues and education.

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