Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 126
  Tuesday, March 24, 2015
 
Statement: Tenelle Starr and CBC's Future 40 Award
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, Tenelle Starr, a 15-year-old member of the Star Blanket First Nation, was nominated in the third annual CBC Saskatchewan's Future 40 award. This award looks to recognize young people under 40 years of age who are making a difference in their communities and excelling in their fields.

Honourable senators will recall that I made a statement on Tenelle when her extraordinary courage and intelligence first made headlines on February 27, 2014.

In 2014, when Tenelle was in Grade 8, she objected to being sent home from her school in Balcarres, Saskatchewan, for wearing a hoodie bearing the words "Got land? Thank an Indian." Overnight, she became the centre of a national discussion around treaties, indigenous land rights, and racism in Saskatchewan. Internationally, requests for the hoodie skyrocketed and the Idle No More group launched a campaign supporting her actions.

In addition, Tenelle was invited as a guest by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to the Honour the Treaties concert featuring Neil Young. In a CBC interview, Tenelle said of her experience: "I think of it as a teaching tool that can help bring awareness to our treaty and land rights. The truth about Canada's bad treatment of First Nations may make some people uncomfortable, but understanding is the only way Canada will change and start respecting First Nations."

Honourable senators, Tenelle is now selling "Got Land" gear to fundraise for missing and murdered indigenous women and suicide prevention programs in First Nation communities. Tenelle Starr is an extraordinary young role model, and her courage, wisdom and resistance in everyday actions serve as an inspiration for a better world.

Congratulations on your nomination, Tenelle. I wish you the very best in your candidacy for this special award.