Alexa Blyan, a 15-year-old Cree/Blackfoot woman from Lloydminster, Alberta is a fantastic example of a passionate young woman who wants to be the change they see in the world. While she works hard as a high school student, she also spends a lot of her free time with the SOAR mentorship team at her school, which focuses on advocating for Indigenous rights. With this group she facilitates the Kairos blanket exercise and has done so for up to 1000 people; delivers speeches about Missing and Murdered Indigenous peoples in her community; goes to school and reads Indigenous stories to young children, and teaches community members about treaty rights and much more. Upon graduating high school in a few years, she hopes to take up Midwifery and open her own clinic in Saskatchewan where there are no Indigenous midwifery clinics currently available.
Alexa recently attended the IAAW Young Indigenous Women’s Retreat in Sherwood Park, AB and produced a moving piece on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women for a workshop taught by Lana Whiskeyjack , a local artist, academic, and advocate. When asked Alexa why she is passionate about speaking out about MMIW, she said “…growing up, where I am, it’s not the most welcoming town and when things happen with Missing and Murdered people, you don’t hear about it for a while.” Ultimately, she said that her goal is to help shape the place she lives so that children don’t have to be afraid to walk down the street like she was. Great job Alexa, from the IAAW team, we want to say we are proud of you! Keep up the great work.
Read the blog post that Alexa wrote for us back in September HERE!