Embracing Shades of Action is a one-day cost free event for Indigenous Girls and Girls of Colour* between the ages of 13-17. The day has been created and designed as a response to the lack of space there is for the lived experiences and networking of/between Indigenous Girls and Girls of Colour in Victoria. In planning this day we acknowledge that race and place has shaped every individual differently and want to honor the diversity within Indigenous Girls and Girls of Colour lives. We come together with an incredible advisory committee that includes an intergenerational combination of both Indigenous Women and Women of Color. Through the advisory committee visioning process, as well as a number of focus groups with Indigenous Girls and Girls of Colour from local communities, we formed a collective vision of what this day could look like.
* We define Girls of Colour as girls who do not identify as white, this also includes mixed raced girls. The term is meant to be both positive and inclusive recognizing that people may have ancestors of several or various races.
The day will provide an opportunity for the participants to learn new skills and leadership tools. It will aim to inspire and support dialogue-surrounding issues that matter to the youth participants. It will also provide the space and place for youth to network with other youth and hear the experiences of other young Indigenous Women and young Women of Colour who are actively involved in taking action within their communities.
- Building community
- Leadership skills
The themes for the event are around building community, leadership, cultural identity and of course having fun. Our target audience is Indigenous Girls and Girls of Colour between the ages of 13-17, in keeping this mind we want to approach the subject of cultural identity with our own personal narratives in terms of what cultural identity means to us as the organizers and the workshop facilitators of this event.
Nikki Sanchez is a fourth year student at the university of Victoria where she is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and women’s studies. Her childhood was spent in Central America with her father who is Mayan as well as in Victoria with her mother who is Celtic Canadian. As a result of being exposed to human rights issues at an early age during the civil war in Central America, Nikki has been actively engaged with children’s rights and social justice work since she was 11. At 13 she became the youngest Canadian delegate to the United Nations on the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Her work with the United Nations and the Canadian government laid the foundation for a passionate career working for human rights, women’s rights and environmental justice. In addition to school, Nikki also works as a certified IBP counselor and wilderness guide. Most recently, Nikki’s work as an activist has been focused on wilderness education, environmental conservation and First Nations rights.
Whitney really appreciates the opportunity to have genuine interactions with people. She created an acronym using her name to give you a little more insight into who she is.
W hitney grew up in Victoria
H as a passion for working with Youth
I dentifies as a Trini-Canadian
T hinks it’s really important to create inclusive spaces for lived experiences of Girls of Colour & Indigenous girls
N ever has been to India, but really wants to go one day
E njoys dancing & music of all different genres
“Y esterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Today is a gift – which is why they call it the present.” – Bill Keane