The Engagement of Youth in Reconciliation

Sage Petahtegoose is Anishnawbe-kwe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek; she is a member of the Canadian Roots exchange. Her teachings come from the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, a medicine society of the Anishnawbe.

Petahtegoose explains that the Canadian Roots Exchange is a forum where Canadian youth can engage in conversations about truth and reconciliation through activities and event hosting. They challenge other young people to speak out about the creation of false narratives about Indigenous people and speak to people about issues related to colonialism. Petahtegoose believes that there should be more spaces like this as it is integral to building on the nation to nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

These youth are providing a positive example of how to build strong relationships with one another. Petahtegoose uses this opportunity to teach others about what it means to be anishnawbe in this country and to try to hold on to traditional teachings. She is an inspiration to other youth. The Indigenous youth of this country are not going away. Her message about gaining strength from culture and its potential to strengthen the spiritual identity of youth is much needed.

Learning Activities

The following link takes you to the Walrus Talks by Sage Petahtegoose. Take some time to watch the video:

A Revival and Reclamation of Identity – Sage Petahtegoose (Walrus Talks)

  1. Explore other examples of youth engagement in your area.
  2. How engaged are the youth in addressing reconciliation?
  3. What are some of the suggestions that Sage spoke about that could be utilized with youth in your area?
  4. What are some of the challenges to creating spaces where you can speak out about reconciliation, culture and identity, and having a meaningful voice in changing the conversation about Indigenous peoples in this country?

Expanding your knowledge

  1. The partnership between Indigenous communities and the Ontario government is aimed at building stronger bonds and creating opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to have holistic, culturally-based and community-driven approaches to children and youth services. Visit the following website for more information:
    Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy
  2. The following news article from the Canadian press (Oct 4, 2017), Ontario Children’s Aid Societies apologize for harm done to Indigenous Peoples, discusses their 2017 apology. Read the article for more information:
    Ontario Children’s Aid Societies Apologize for Harm Done to Indigenous Peoples


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