Tunchai Redvers on the Indigenous Youth Suicide Crisis, Being Two Spirited and Healing through Poetry

The Indigenous youth suicide crisis has been overwhelming and heartbreaking for Indigenous communities across Canada. Tunchai, and her brother, Kelvin, originally from the Northwest Territories, are familiar with the hardships that Indigenous youth in remote communities face and decided to create a multi-media campaign, wemattercampaign.org

The purpose of wemattercampaign.org is to bring hope to Indigenous youth through short video messages from people that have been through similar circumstances, or want to reach out and show they care. The website allows anyone to upload video messages, poetry or artwork.

On today’s episode, Tunchai shares how they were inspired by the US project ‘It Gets Better,’ her journey to claiming her two-spirited identity, using poetry and ceremony as a tool for healing, and the role models that make her cry.

“You are so incredibly special. You are so loved. Even if it feels like you are completely alone, you’re not – our ancestors are with you. There are people across Turtle Island who are thinking of you, love you, and care for you, and who want to see you succeeding. ” Tunchai Redvers, her message for Indigenous youth

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Today on the Women Warriors Podcast

  • How she relates to the Indigenous youth suicide crisis (4:36)
  • How the It Gets Better Project inspired the We Matter Campaign (5:13)
  • Her work with Indigenous youth in La Ronge and Stanley Mission, Northern Saskatchewan (7:35)
  • Gifting remote communities the USB Stick of Hope (9:16)
  • Why parachuting help into remote communities is not a solution to the youth suicide crisis (10:14)
  • Helping youth in communities to share their messages (11:32)
  • What is two-spirited in Indigenous culture (12:23)
  • How she came out to friends and family (13:39)
  • Her advice for LBGTQ youth (15:23)
  • The importance of poetry for healing (17:51)
  • She shares a spoken word poem (19:41)
  • Her future book collection of poetry (20:40)
  • How traditional ceremony helps her heal (22:25)
  • The Indigenous role model Tunchai wants to spend the day with (24:24)
  • Her message for Indigenous youth (27:04)

Selected Links from this Episode

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Media

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, Dec. 01, 2016: Siblings create ‘We Matter’ campaign for Indigenous youth

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