Cheechoo’s address will help culminate White Privilege Symposium

Brock University Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo will draw on her own childhood ordeal at residential schools when she gives the closing keynote address at the White Privilege Symposium this weekend at Brock.

Cheechoo, an award-winning artist and filmmaker, uses her own experiences to raise awareness of First Nations issues, which she’ll do this Saturday Oct. 1 at 4:45 p.m. when she goes to the podium for her presentation, My Road to Healing as a Residential School Warrior.

A member of the Cree nation, Cheechoo grew up in Moose Factory, Ont., where in the 1960s she was separated from her family and sent off to several residential schools in northern and southern Ontario.

Cheechoo says her artistic outputs provide her with a way to deal with and draw from her own past experiences in-and-out of the residential school system, and to share them with a wide variety of audiences.

“Healing from these experiences has been a personal lifelong journey,” she said recently, “but it is artistic expression which has had the most significance and influence of who and where I am today.”

Cheechoo will be the last of eight diverse keynote speakers to address the White Privilege Symposium, an annual event which this year is being held outside the United States for the first time.

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