Thunder Bay Students Receive Powerful Messages to Start School

Youth Orientation was shared with important messages from Ontario, regional and community leaders.
Youth Orientation was shared with important messages from Ontario, regional and community leaders.

When You Succeed, We All Succeed – ORC Day

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Thunder Bay students received powerful messages of hope and support on Friday from provincial, regional and local leaders as they start on their studies.

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day shared a message of hope and strength with students.

“Your efforts are going to help to change the lives of many people,” shared Chief Day. “You may help society, by making change, by being a process of higher learning”.

Youth Orientation was shared with important messages from Ontario, regional and community leaders.
Youth Orientation was shared with important messages from Ontario, regional and community leaders.

There were information booths from local organizations, political parties, and community groups.

The day sent a strong message that Chief Day emphasised, “Your education is sacred”.

Chief Day’s Remarks

I want to share the protocol of raising the pipe; in honour of all of you here today and celebrate the spark of life that gives sanctity to the gift of knowledge. Your education is sacred.

Acknowledge the traditional territory: FWFN – Thank you Chief Collins and the Anishinabe for sharing these lands.

As in the treaties, the importance of sharing should never be understated! (In this case, please consider intently; these lands are what many people call home; and an important social gathering place to those that come from the North, South, East, West. We acknowledge our Indigenous brothers and sisters from other territories and we acknowledge our treaty partners.

The treaties were solemn agreements about sharing – space, time, and experiences.) The treaties were about ensuring that everyone could benefit from those gifts – freely given by the Creator. I’m gonna come back to this as an important contemplation – Sharing of SPACE; TIME; EXPEREINCE.

Acknowledge the various partners; CONGRATULATIONS!
➢ Confederation College and other Partnering Institutions
➢ FN’s and Regional Student Support Organizations
➢ Aboriginal Support Services within the College
➢ Funders Fed; Provincial; Local and the Private Sector
➢ Volunteers, Families and First Nation Leaders
➢ And the key partner in all of this: YOU the students.

o On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, I want to commend, acknowledge and encourage all of you. This is a very critical commitment that you are making – one that is about.
• Happiness / Hope / Humanity

The gift of knowledge, through the endeavour of education, is really about all of these things combined!!! But I would like to expand on the human element.

The reality is this – education is about humanity! Everything that you do in this; within the core of your mind (PAUSE) – is really intended to ultimately help others! Another human being is going to benefit from your education.

Family; Community; Co-Workers; this Country and perhaps beyond; – everyone will be impacted by your education!! Including YOU!

Information – Information – Information; there will be much information – sometimes overload will almost paralyse you. But it is information that forms the substance of your education, your degrees and professional credentials. Its gonna be vital in obtaining your career of choice.

That information will be developed into course lectures, presentations – quizzes – essays – class discussions – exams – that information will turn your dreams into realities and you will also help others dreams come true!!

A NOTE ABOUT MY EDUCATION – I spent 8 years in post secondary – I was an adult learner and I can assure you – I have an idea what many of you are going through!! Education is a serious choice and an important commitment!!

Some things have changed – I started on DOS and when Internet came in;

Other things have remain the same – the level of commitment is the same;

For you; BIG Change is gonna happen! If you TRY!

Since I attended Post Secondary a great many things have happened for me – because of education!! I have addressed protocols with the monarch – Prince Charles as the representative; I’ve advised PM’s on what our issues are; I’ve met President Bill Clinton and addressed him in the Ontario Economic Summit and helped create Ontario’s Energy Polices from that discussion; Ive sat with many great leaders to move important political processes forward; including the UNDRIP. Let me clarify; I don’t like to speak about myself – I do this only to tell you – that you can do this too!!! IT WAS THROUGH EDUCATION.

(Qualify; that it took me a few years to figure out that education was important; I went back to school when I was about 26 – so education for me included a family, work and for me, personal healing. I had decided that if I was going to make something of my life – I would need to turn away from alcohol and drugs. That was a choice that I made 23 Years ago! Ive not turned back and it helped me achieve my education.)

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this important first step in what I think is a remarkable evolution!! YOUR EDUCATION

Your efforts are going to change the world!!! Among you, there are doctors, lawyers, Chiefs, Chief Executive Officers, Chiefs of Staff; there are engineers, social workers, fashion designers, directors, teachers, marketing specialists, musicians, home-builders, road-road building; bridge-builders – the list goes on! You are building a future!!!

I was elected by the chiefs on a platform and commitment – “SECURING A FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN”

1. Sovereignty and Inherent Rights
2. Treaties and First Nation Jurisdiction
3. Quality of Life in First Nations
4. Sustainability and the Next Generation

I can’t do that alone; the Chiefs can do it alone; we need our First Nations to be successful and strong – your education is key to that success and that strength. I am confident that I may have the honour to be working with a number of you on shared visions and strategies – that will only happen through YOUR EDUCATION!!

Your efforts are going to help change the lives of many people – those that are poor, those that are sick, those that want to improve their life situations:

You will help change the lives of young and old;
You will help corporations; you will help communities; you will help families;
You will help change the life of someone who may be incarcerated; or
You may help change the life of a youth; so that they avoid incarceration;
You will help society by helping change the incarceration rates of Aboriginal People in this country – just by being part of the process of higher learning.

Your education will help ensure that we deal with the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in this country. Many of you will travel to other far off places to help in this way with other nations of people!!!

IN CONCLUSION – Let me share something with you. (EXPAND)

I was thinking this morning:
I mentioned; gifts given by the Creator; the most important gift that the Creator gave, is the spark of life – which represents so many things! In this this case – that spark, is about education.

Education is about; assessing, evaluating, transmitting, storing, conveying, recycling, applying, and speaking – about information!!!

There is an important and miraculous set of activities that happen in the human body when we engage in education – the brain does some very import and critical things! The fancy word for what happens in “neuro-transmission.” Let me explain what I was taught in one of my college courses.

1) Information is taken in by one of our 5 sense;
2) The brain work with the nervous system and the endocyn system;
3) Messaging is transmitted through brain cells; dendrites; gaps;
4) The Gap is where the information is transmitted – by a spark;
5) The spark of life is the most vital component in the process of learning;
6) That’s why our people acknowledge the sacred fire – as do other Nations!

That was something that I thought about very early this morning as I considered what I might talk about. Your education starts with that spark of life!!

One important message for me – Your education is sacred! And I want to tell you that I am very appreciative that you have come seeking to succeed; I have often said in my own community where I was a Chief for 10 years; “When you succeed; we all succeed – and our nations become stronger”

REMEMBER; your education starts with that small spark and is carried through your efforts and the efforts of those that are here to help you; make the grade, pass the test and to obtain your degrees, diplomas and certificates!

Again, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this first step in your journey!

In conclusion, if you strive to do your best and honour the sacred gift and ability to learn – miracles will happen in your life and you will change the world!!


Chief Isadore Day

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