In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On this National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to get to know hundreds of our Indigenous family, from children to elders.

To all I have met, thank you for all that you have taught me, including the value of integrity, kindness, simplicity , patience, laughter and resilience. Thank you.  Today, looking back to 2003, I recall that life changing moment when, about midnight,  around the campfire in Mishkeegogamang FN,  an elder from Webequie FN quietly asked if I would visit his community and help stem the youths’ suicides by using my arts education programs.  Not sure what I could possibly do, nonetheless, I said yes.  Then, with a small team of three others, we did just that: living in that and numerous other remote, fly-in-only first nations  for up to two weeks at a time and working with the youth – with our mouths shut and our ears and hearts open.   The suicides stopped.  A teen sang, “I got hope….I got hope wakin’ up every day.”


Time has passed through two decades, and yet I still stand strongly committed to continuing to work with our country’s Indigenous young people.    Last week, based on workshops of the past two years, the Vancouver School Board requested that all six of their elementary schools in downtown Eastside Vancouver register for our youthLEADarts workshops in early 2023.   Many kids in these schools are Indigenous.   They are so capable.  Last Friday, at the final circle of the teachers’ planning meeting, the teachers were in tears.  With that level of trust in the integrity of the LEAD program, I will continue to give my all to this this mission.


A portion of sales from Windrush Estate Winery will help.  Let me know if you would like to help too.  Meanwhile, enjoy this blog recognising today and links for you to hear the voices of our future:


  • Today is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day.  We invite you all to build bridges, continue to educate yourself and those around you on the history of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Be Brave! Lean in and do the work.  At youthLEADarts we remain committed to amplifying, supporting, and collaborating with Indigenous Youth,  Artists, Educators, Elders, and  Knowledge Keepers  – today and every day!
  • Here is what some of youth have to say:


” Our Paddle propels us forward, We will fight like Warriors for equality”

-Nova, Grade 6/7 student Britannia co-creator of the film Firm Fists, Not Pliable Poems-


I worry my paddle won’t push me forward. The songs of my ancestors play on my mind… My heart throbs like a drum

-Erin Grade 6/7 student Britannia co-creator of the film I am the artist who paints sunrises-


“I am the last domino refusing to fall.”

-Avene Grade6/7 student Britannia co-creator of the film The Last Domino-


Sincerely and in deep appreciation,

Marilyn Field
M.S.M. Meritorious Service Medal
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

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