Conference Organizer Carolynn Kane says that despite the
changes 20 years can bring, some issues remain
"If [teens are] dealing with gangs in the community, if
they're dealing with drug related issues, dealing with
death and suicide, we can talk to those straight talk
issues, that has been a constant."
17-year-old Northstar Stonechild-Peequaquat is part of
the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council United Youth Group.
He went through a lot of hardships early in life,
growing up with an alcoholic father.
first 10 years of my life I was surrounded with drugs
and alcohol," said Stonechild-Peequaquat. "I kind of
molded myself to the negative life and looked up to that
negative life and, kind of, just thinking 'oh yeah, I
might be a gang leader some day if I do the right
things' but, really, that's not right thing,
you're just going the wrong way."
He says joining the youth group and taking part in this
conference has taught him that life is about overcoming
obstacles, not becoming involved in them.
"If I didn't have those obstacles in my way I wouldn't
be who I am today, to be able to run against all the
(negativity), run against the odds of us aboriginal
people, because we have a lot of odds stacked
"We're the final generation to be able to flip that
stone, we give it the extra push to show the positive
side of us aboriginals," he explained. "Do we want to
throw the weight we have onto other people? Because,
they might not be able to do it, so we might as well
take the opportunity now to achieve what we want and
what we need to strive for."
Stonechild-Peequaquat hopes to use his story to inspire
others. Teens from the TACT United Youth Group put
together a video (above) on the impact alcoholism has on
kids and posted it on YouTube.
people will listen and learn from their stories
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