I was in Ottawa sitting in a boardroom down the hall from the Prime Minister’s office on Parliament Hill. As the ten of us sat at the round table we were given the order in which we would be meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I discovered I would be the first one to meet him.
No words can describe my feelings as I walked to his office, with no time to pep talk myself and really go over my questions. When I entered the office and he said, simply “Hi Nikki,” it all sank in. I’m in the Prime Minister’s office, I thought. It’s just him and me and a CBC camera crew.
Okay, I got this!
I wanted to ask about the future generation of Indigenous children and what needs to happen to make their lives better, so that they can be seen as equal and valued.
During our interview, Prime Minister Trudeau said “Indigenous lives matter.” I was the first Indigenous person in Canada to hear that from a prime minister. He is accountable for change in this country.
After the live show the Prime Minister came out and shook all of our hands, and after all that we stood in a circle and I looked at him and said, “Mr. Trudeau, you made history!”
He looked at me and said, “No! You made history.”
These last few days since the interview aired have been filled with more than I could have ever imagined.
I have received thank yous and support from so many people who aren’t Indigenous. More friend requests on Facebook, more shares of my interview on social media and so much media coverage! It's all amazing because the more shares and likes we get the more I know the story of my aunt and cousin is being heard.
From myself and my family, on both my mom and dad’s side, I want to say thank you for listening, sharing and acknowledging my Aunty Dorothy and Cousin Samantha's truth.
We love and miss them with our entire beings and I will continue to honour their lives by sharing their truth. And I'm aware my family’s harsh reality is like many other families in Canada.
What I want those families to know is that I did this for you and our future generation of beautiful Indigenous children.
Watch all the interviews here.