Inspiring and humbling today to participate in this unique gathering of experiential sex trafficking survivors from across Canada, and deeply touched and honoured to be presented by the grandmothers with a medicine pouch and to learn that my work is being read and appreciated much more widely than I realized. It is demoralizing to learn how our brothers and sisters have been hurt, and it could have been any of us; we need to stand together for a better Canada.
CIn collaboration with community partners in Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia, Clan Mothers Healing Village is hosting the first ever Experiential Voices National Knowledge Gathering. You as individuals are the experts with knowledge to collaboratively lead the way forward. We will be inviting culturally diverse persons as well as 2SLGBTQQIA survivors of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation to participate in this experiential-led project. The summit will take place a short distance from Winnipeg, Manitoba, from March 19-21, 2019. For far too long our Indigenous communities have been caught in a never-ending cycle of temporary fixes pertaining to our history of intergenerational trauma. We are taking a stance against the colonial approach which has affected all people, giving voices back to those who are the leaders of change – people with lived experience. We are opening this gathering to experiential persons that have exited the sex trade or who have been involved in sex trafficking and are currently contributing their knowledge as leaders in the field of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Our goal is to capture the expertise of lived experience leaders. This is to allow for real, meaningful change to happen. The gathering will offer a gentle spiritual ceremonial aspect led by Elders and experiential persons. A critical component of the project consists of digital interviews to be collected and distributed in accessible ways to privilege the voices of experiential persons who, for too long, have felt unheard. The project’s main objective is to exemplify a representative model of lived experienced leadership to maximize and guide priorities and policies across Canada and beyond. Finally, there is an important outcome piece of this gathering: an on-line digital media book and film that will be developed and designed to emphasis and ensure that the expertise of people with lived experience in the sex trade will have far-reaching, real-life impacts to inform concrete changes moving forward.