Walrus Talks Touring Canada

“What is the one thing Canadians can do today to make the country better?

April 3, 2017

By Shondell Orinthia Babb

The Walrus Talks mantra is: “We desire a better country”. Hosted by the Order of Canada, the talks are striving to learn how to make Canada more inclusive. The next stop on the tour across Canada is in Montreal on April 11.

During the Winnipeg stop, the event drew a sizeable crowd of allies on March 13 that were also desiring a better country. However, only a certain demographic of the Winnipeg population attends the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. So, this inadvertently creates exclusion on some level.

I, myself only found out about the function on event day-through a Facebook post.

The Walrus Talkers were inspiring and thought provoking.

Walrus Talker Azeezah Kanji pointed out that there was no black or African person that spoke at the event.

The Order of Canada has historically lacked diversity in it’s representatives and awardees, including only older, white males. But the organization is actively working to change that.

“We try to get a balanced representation of speakers from all demographics, including women and people of colour,” said David Leonard, Director of Events and Special Projects.

Leonard said they have at least one person of colour at all events and one black person is represented in 13 of the 15 tours.

The tour is traveling across the country asking leaders to answer a key question:

“What is the one thing Canadians can do today to make the country better?

And they got answers from the Walrus Talkers  that spoke in Winnipeg:

DOUGLAS CARDINAL

Douglas Cardinal

“Support youth in education without racism education.”

MICAHEL Decter

Michael Decter

“Indigenous people are underserved in health care, CFS and overrepresented in prisons, DCF and suicide.”

Eliz Dubois

Elizabeth Dubois

“We leave digital traces, but not all are counted. We need to make sure the internet is inclusive and open to all.”

Aseezah Kanji

Azeezah Kanji

“There is a daily demand on Blacks, Indigenous and Muslim people to respond to the distraction that is racism.

Michael Champagne

Michael Redhead Champagne

“I challenge everyone using the ‘Canada 150’ hashtag to spread and show love on Aboriginal people.”

Jane Hilderman

Jane Hilderman

“Semira Canada is committed to connecting citizens to communications, leadership, training and (giving them) a voice.”

Jordan Tannahill

Jordan Tannahill

“I was emailed by eight youth that said they re-considered suicide because they saw my play.”

Rick hansen

Rick Hansen

“Disability affects us all. We have to be more aware of how people with disability are veiwed”.

The Walrus Talks Tours will continue until the last event in Toronto on May 31.

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