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Q&A with Indigenous Advocate & Activist

Michelle Chubb shares her journey as an Indigenous activist, addressing challenges faced by communities and ways to foster support and inclusion

Can you tell us about your journey as an indigenous activist and what inspired you to start advocating for indigenous rights and culture?

I started my activist journey back in 2020 when I was posting videos on TikTok. It started when I was getting asked to bring awareness to certain topics that needed attention. So I did just that & ever since then I would post about important issues that we face as an Indigenous community. It was also driven by growing up in Winnipeg where we have to face discriminative & racial tactics against our people, such as MMIWG2S+ or just not being favoured in the justice system. I always remembered hearing the news growing up & seeing an indigenous woman on the tv saying they were missing, all I thought was that could be me next. It’s an ongoing epidemic that needs attention. When I do make activist videos though, I do get hate from people who do not like indigenous people because of the outdated beliefs, I simply just ignore them because obviously we all don’t think the same but there are a lot more people who are starting to stand and become allies with the community which I am very grateful for! As for the culture aspect, I would start posting about it because I remember posting a video of myself in my jingle dress and a lot of people were taken back, they wanted to see more & that’s when I incorporated more culture videos. Not a lot of people know about our cultures/history & I think its important that they know because when I went to school we learned about one paragraph of our people, I had to take a separate course in high school that I had to sign up for. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known about the history I do now & it all makes sense. 

What are some of the key challenges faced by Indigenous communities today, and how do you envision we can help overcome them?

 I can write off this whole page to tell you what we face as a community, there are so many problems that need attention. For example, the environment from indigenous communities, the ecosystem is changing rapidly because of the exploitation of the land from these bigger companies that want something from the community such as water. That can change the way fish live, how the animals survive, the way the land changes & that all circles around back to the community that needs the land to survive due to colonization. A lot of the elders depend on the land to survive, such as hunting for wild meat because the food prices from stores are so high they simply cannot afford. Discriminative justice, we are usually targeted because of how we look or how we live. 

Could you share a particularly impactful moment or experience that has fueled your determination to bring about positive change for Indigenous communities?

When I started getting emails about wanting to be in Teen Vogue or I got asked to model for some companies, that’s when I realized this is real & I’m actually doing it

In your opinion, what role do non-Indigenous individuals and organizations play in supporting the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples, and how can they contribute to positive change?

There’s a big role they have to contribute because there’s only so many of us, we are really the minorities of both countries, Canada and the United States of America. It’s basic human rights that we are bringing awareness to. They need to start by educating themselves & bring awareness to these topics.

How can individuals and communities engage and join efforts to promote Indigenous rights, preserve cultures, and create a more inclusive society?

Start by inviting indigenous peoples to your tables and discuss what needs to be done, because most of the time things aren’t done correctly. Amplify indigenous voices and share their stories!

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