More than a thousand people gathered at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg over the weekend on the heels of a nationwide movement against sexual orientation and gender identity in the country’s school systems.
For Sadie Lavoie, the gathering was about bringing a voice to vulnerable students – especially those who are also Indigenous.
“It’s really disheartening that you have a group of people that believe that your existence shouldn’t be allowed or that our rights need to be relinquished,” Lavoie told APTN News. “The amount of suicide rates amongst Indigenous people, it’s a lot, even people in general mainly Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA, especially those that are up north that are in isolated communities.
“When they see this, they see that we’re fighting for their right to exist, and they deserve to survive.”
On Sept. 20, thousands of people across the country came out in the 1 Million March for Children movement. They were protesting school curriculum and some rallies were openly anti-LGTBQ2S+.
“It’s essentially saying ‘that’s great but we really don’t want to see you, we don’t want to hear from you’ that’s what it feels like, you’re asking us to disappear,” said Dayna Danger, “especially if you’re Indigenous and queer there’s no space in this world for you.”
The gather on the weekend marched from the legislature to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
Many who APTN spoke with are queer youth. They said they face bullying in school and need more support in order to receive a proper education.
“As I was growing up, I never had that inclusion in school, I was always left out, I was always picked on,” said Sky Wolf, a Two-Spirit youth.