Feature #3 Ruth Shead

What Nation do you belong to?  Cree, Peguis First Nation

Where is your home community? Selkirk, Manitoba (grew up in), Winnipeg, Manitoba (current)

What makes you happy and inspires you? Nature and people

What is your proudest accomplishment? I don’t think it has happened yet

What is an assumption or hurtful stereotype that has been said about you? But you don’t look Indigenous

What is a racist remark you’ve been called before? Because I look white, I have not had a racist remark directed at me personally. I have been privy to many ugly things people felt okay to call Indigenous around me (before they knew me) like lazy, freeloaders, criminals, drunks.

What can non-Indigenous folks do to educate themselves and create meaningful change?  Understand the past and take responsibility for the future. Learn about the history of colonization and the Indian Act. Learn about current issues. There are countless resources available to you: books, podcasts, movies, art, educators, Knowledge Keepers, Elders. Get to know people. Never stop learning. Support Indigenous youth, businesses, and movements. Use your voice, your time, your influence, your vote.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self if you could? Don’t try to be perfect at everything. 

Who is a role model you look up to and why? My parents. They both lead with love, kindness, and humility. They encourage and model lifelong learning. They are selfless.

You’re proud to be Indigenous because…? Of the resiliency, the strength, and commitment of our communities to create the best possible world for future generations.

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