Symone Peltier on her journey from a reserve on Manitoulin Island to U of T


Symone Peltier Manitoulin Island I really like fishing. So, I think, I think fishing will be a
big thing that I do miss. There’s five reserves on the island and ours is the biggest one with about a population of 3,000. My high school, it’s small. We have about 200 registered students. Maybe 100 show up regularly. It’s on reserve. Only band members can attend. I think because of that
we’re very cultural. I got the highest grade in my English class in Grade 11. I always used to sit there for a good two years, Grade 9 and Grade 10. And then when I started to branch off and really focus on my own, like on myself academically, I’d sit here by myself. My mom she did teach me
a lot about my culture. She taught me about fishing, hunting, snaring, trapping. I’ve taught both my girls. So we go out, we set snares. We get rabbits. We’ve been out deer
hunting and moose hunting. We’ve been successful each time. I’ve taught them to go fishing as well. That’s how we live. That’s how I provide for the girls and it’s just completely natural to them. As soon as I started Grade 9, my mom, she’s like, “Okay you’re in high school. Now you better start looking
at where you’re going to go after high school. University.” And so when I saw St. George
and just U of T in general I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have to go here.” When some people leave here and they go on to get a PhD or
some kind of doctorate degree or whatever, and a lot of
people, they won’t come back. I figured, if I can go to
school and get my degree in psychology, I can get
that experience off-reserve and then bring my
experiences and my practices and everything that I’ve
learned, and then bring that here to the community to help people.

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