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We were punished for speaking our languages and banned from using them in the legislature. My speech turned a page – The Star

June 11, 2024

I spoke for all of the First Nations children, who were stolen away from their lands, their families and communities, from everything they knew.

May 28 was a historic day in Ontario. I finally spoke in my language, in Queen’s Park, which has been heard on this land for tens of thousands of years. Our people say, since time began.

May 28 was the first time I was able to speak my language, Anishininiimowin, in the settler government, the government that says it speaks for all of us. Yet it has not.

I spoke for all of those First Nations people who were punished and abused for speaking their language. From the time the settlers made their way to our lands and unjustly and unlawfully, claimed them as theirs under the false pretence of terra nullius — the idea from Christianity that this land belonged to no one, so it was free for the taking.

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