Winner, Youth category: Daxton R.
Daxton is a grade eight student in Ottawa, Ontario and has been actively involved in Shannen’s Dream since 2009 and has flourished into a passionate leader for change. As Daxton’s teachers say, “What is different about Daxton is that he is determined to take charge.” He has been working hard to take action to ensure that all First Nations children have access to safe, comfortable schools. Daxton believes it is important that all First Nations children receive a properly funded education in order to prepare them to achieve their dreams and be proud of their distinct cultures and languages.
To help fight for the rights of First Nations children does not require great athletic skill or good grades in school. You do not have to try out and there is no captain or coach on the team. We are all in this together. All you have to show is commitment and a lot of heart.
Daxton’s letter to the Prime Minister about Shannen’s Dream was published in 2011 a compilation of letters written by children called “Children Have Power: Voices of Children Standing in Solidarity with First Nations children.” He has shared this letter and other messages of hope and justice with students in schools and at various conferences and events. Daxton has had the opportunity to visit schools across the Ottawa area and speak to students about Shannen’s Dream and the importance of advocacy, social justice, and equal education rights for First Nations children. Daxton has also been an MC for annual child led events on Parliament Hill such as the Our Dreams Matter Too walk on June 11 and Have a Heart Day on February 14. In addition, he volunteers often to support First Nations organizations and has appeared in films by internationally acclaimed film makers Alanis Obomsawin of the National Film Board and Andrée Cazabon of Productions Cazabon.