Delivered at the convocation ceremonies for RD Parker Collegiate in Thompson, Manitoba
June 26, 2019
(Grand Chief opened his speech in Cree by saying: Friends, relatives, and all my relations, I’m thankful you are gathered here to witness the graduates that finished their journey as high school students. I am happy to be here.)
Principal Fisher, Mayor Smook, the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent and I want to say hi to the people sitting in the penalty box back there, and Mr. Krentz, thank you for that very moving speech, and first and foremost, the graduating class of 2019 of RD Parker Collegiate. Give them a hand!
This is your time. This is your moment. Take it in, absorb it, because you have earned this honour. Nobody gave it to you but you fought, sacrificed, and you dedicated yourselves to earn this honour that is bestowed upon you. And no doubt all of the parents, all of the grandparents, all of the extended families are very proud of you because of what you have accomplished on this day. This is a tremendous feat. There have been many distractions, many obstacles, many adversities but today you are here and you are now officially graduates of RD Parker Collegiate.
I am very proud to be here in your presence. It is my distinct pleasure and honour to bring greetings from all the MKO Chiefs and communities. They share in my congratulations to you and they share in my greetings and admiration for you on this day. You have made a lot of people proud. I
I just want to challenge you this evening as you go forth with wherever life’s journey takes you, there are going to be choices, those choices can be very important. But one choice that you must make: choose not to be ordinary, choose to be extraordinary.
Choose to be change makers, choose to be game changers because we need you. The future needs you, because you are the future. You will transform the North for us, you will transform your communities on our behalf. So we trust you, we give you all our trust as you go forth to go to universities and colleges and different trades. And I just want to challenge you as you go for: Let’s make the North, our North, a great, great territory for the future generations. Be proud. Kinanâskomitin. Hiy Hiy.