Skip to main content

Matthew Provost

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

empty
poster calling out justice for Colten and Tina
I am tired of seeing our people hurt, I am tired of seeing the endless amount of pain we face. We need to uphold our youth, our women, our men, and our elders. We will find strength.

For this article I will purposely not be naming those that are accused due to respect for Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie. In recent events two young Indigenous warriors were taken from us. The attitudes shown throughout the trials of Tina and Colten show how Indigenous people are perceived, we have still seen no justice for the loss of their lives. They were taken from us by white men, these men are guilty of murder and it makes me sick to my stomach to find how the canadian justice system can justify their violence towards Indigenous children and the attitudes that canadians hold toward Indigenous people. They were acquitted of their charges and walk free among us. Knowing this I feel unsafe for myself, my partner, my family, my friends, and every Indigenous person in canada.

My heart is heavy after hearing the verdicts in the trials of Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie. I want to write these out of love and rage for the families at this time. We deserve more and so do our Indigenous youth. The justification of our suffering needs to stop. canada needs to take responsibility and canadian society needs to recognize the harm that is ongoing. I am tired of seeing our people hurt, I am tired of seeing the endless amount of pain we face. We need to uphold our youth, our women, our men, and our elders. We will find strength. I am writing these letters to my younger siblings because they deserve more than what this society has to offer them.

To My Brother:

Since the day you were born my heart has never felt so much love, it is amazing how every day you grow smarter, the words you speak and write surprise me because I never thought these days would come so fast. Right now, you are six years old and I remember when you began to walk, run, talk and laugh. You are so young but at the same time you remind me of an omahkiinaan (old man). I want to recognize you because you have changed my life I am so happy you are my little brother. I know one day you will grow up, and this society will force you to grow up faster than most children your age, I do not want you to be scared, but we live in a system that doesn’t recognize how special you are to me and our family. I am scared for you every day but I know the creator and our ancestors take care of us even though I am not there, physically, to protect you. I know in my heart that you will be a great example of what an Indigenous man is. I want you to grow up and be proud, I want you to drum and speak Blackfoot and you deserve every opportunity to do that. I know you will face things in your life because you are a Niitsiitapii, this means you are a Real Person, you come from this earth, but remember you are strong because you will be proud and the words and actions that are done to you will not affect you because of your strength and resilience.

To My Sisters:

You all will impact the lives of those around you, your kind hearts will heal, and you will lead in example of what it means to love unconditionally. I think of all three of you every day, you are all wise beyond your years. You all show me the importance of why we need to take care of each other. I want you to grow up to be confident, influential, strong, empowered Indigenous women and I know you are all already on the right track. You will hear and see and go through things that will try to disempower you, I know you will get frustrated and mad and upset but with your resilience I know you will be the first to help those before yourselves. I need you to understand that since you are Indigenous women you hold so much power and canadian society doesn’t want you recognize your own gifts. Whatever you see in the news or on television about our other Indigenous sisters remember that it’s the colonial structure that invented the way we are seen as Indigenous people and it’s not true what is said about us. I know I shouldn’t worry, but I do and will continue to worry for you because it is not fair to feel the way we do. I know in my heart that you will do good things and when you get older you will continue to learn and understand and grow to be warriors.

I write these letters to show that what is happening is real, we do not want any more harm inflicted on our children. All of this colonial violence, and systemic racism, is a sad reality. When you read this remember to recognize the young ones who are coming, they are learning and understanding what they need to do. We deserve more, and so do our children. Justice for Tina, and Justice for Colten.

About the Author

Matthew Provost

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Matthew Provost is Blackfoot from the Piikani Nation. He is in his Undergrad studying Communications with a minor in First Nation Studies. Matthew is very involved in his community at SFU, he is a Council Member for the First Nation Student Association, and a curator for the Indigenous OLC. Matthew spends a lot with his time drumming with his group BYOD (Bring Your Own Drumstick) or finding ways to create community while drinking Red Bull.

You Might Like These... Professional Development, Personal Development, Career Exploration, Life Experience

Marble statue of Socrates
Know Thyself

So you have graduated from university and are hanging your well-earned degree on your bedroom wall, and all of  a sudden, a tiny, yet unavoidable voice in the back of your head is quietly screaming “No time to celebrate, you need to find a job!” or “I’ve got my degree…what do I do with it?!’.

Mike, author
Indigenous Stories: Mike, SFU Alumni

"I have no solid plans for the future and I love it...I know that every experience that I have had, every failed plan, was really an excellent mistake that gave me the skills I need to handle any situation that gets thrown my way in the future."  Read Mike's story of career exploration, and how to handle constant change.

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

poster calling out justice for Colten and Tina
library_books
Blog
We Deserve More
Life Experience, Race + Anti-Racism, Indigenous Community Stories, Life + Health, Equity, Diversity + Inclusion, Indigenous Co-op, Indigenous, Bias

We deserve more and so do our Indigenous youth. The justification of our suffering needs to stop.

poster calling out justice for Colten and Tina
library_books
Blog
We Deserve More
Life Experience, Race + Anti-Racism, Indigenous Community Stories, Life + Health, Equity, Diversity + Inclusion, Indigenous Co-op, Indigenous, Bias

We deserve more and so do our Indigenous youth. The justification of our suffering needs to stop.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Layla in Myanmar
Beyond the BC bubble: My co-op term in Burma (Myanmar)

In a country filled with monks, crazy drivers, and frequent power outages, things were different living in Burma. After four months, it started to feel a bit like home. Here’s a glimpse into my unique experience as a political intern for the Embassy of Canada to Burma (Myanmar). 

Erica Standing in front of greenery, smiling
How a CMNS Student Ended Up in Healthcare During a Pandemic

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the perfect job sector for a Communication student? Social media? Probably. Marketing? Most definitely. Healthcare? Read about Erica's experience jumping into a job at Vancouver Coastal Health - during a pandemic no less!

a woman volunteering
Five Key Advantages of Working in the Non-Profit Sector

Working in the non-profit sector may be associated with myths such as there's no room for upward movement, limited responsibilities, and that there are not many opportunities available. However, there are a significant number of advantages related to working in non-profit organizations.