The Aazhganan Project: Building Bridges (APBB) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization aimed at creating a healthy and historical understanding of relationships between Black, Racialized and Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island, now known as Canada. Black people make up about 3.5% of the population while Indigenous peoples represent 4.9% of it. Both populations are growing with 7.7% of the Indigenous population being under the age of 14 and 62% of the Black population being under 35 according to the 2016 Canadian census. This creates an opportunity to connect Canada’s fastest growing populations as a form of reconciliation and multiculturalism. Honouring both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action 62 and 63 as well as the 1995 nationally recognized implementation of Black History Month, Aazhganan Project: Building Bridges works to create historically and culturally relevant facilitations and workshops.
The retention rate of Black and Indigenous youth in both secondary and post-secondary education has declined causing a clear need for representation within programming concerning education. Uniquely positioned, the Aazhganan Project: Building Bridges, brings together these youth in a way that builds self-determination, self-esteem, community connection and an understanding of their place within Canadian society. While reconciliation has focused on the relationship between Indigenous peoples, the Canadian Government and settlers of European decent, APBB focuses on the complex, and often unspoken, relationship between two of Canada’s most diverse communities. The intent is for this to lead to a national council of both Black and Indigenous youth working to build community bridges as well as a national symposium where Black and Indigenous youth will be brought together to discuss issues that their communities face and how they can support each other on a national scale.
I do class visits free of cost for elementary/middle/secondary schools. If you're a teacher and don't have access to funding for guest speakers to discuss Black liberation, Indigenous issues/history/resilience, Queer decolonizing/liberation/history or activism please contact me.