Conversation starter

Keilidh Corkill was excited when she learned she was selected for the TD Community Leadership Scholarship, but she wasn’t surprised. “I had confidence in myself and I knew I’d done something that was really important by bringing attention to this issue,” she explains.

Her journey to this accomplishment started when Keilidh decided to organize a day at J.L. Ilsley High School in Halifax to honour, remember and demand justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“I believe the youth are the ones who have to take a stand on this—we are the next generation.”

The day included hanging red dresses around the school, asking students to wear red and screening a documentary during lunch. Though her Mi’kmaq roots made the topic personal, she believes it should be everyone’s concern. “It’s not over just because there was an inquiry, it will continue to be an issue until it’s resolved,” she says.

This year, as she begins studying Science at Dalhousie, she’s looking forward to spreading the message even further. “I hope to work with the Indigenous Student Centre to help get the word out.” But her ambitions go beyond creating awareness. “It’s important to honour and remember these women but it’s also really important to discuss the solutions,” she says. “This is a whole-society issue. We need to make sure there are adequate social supports that are accessible to Indigenous women. Regardless of what language, colour of hair or skin we have, we’re all human. There’s no reason someone should face violence or not have a meal on the table at the end of the day. It’s unacceptable. Especially in Canada. And especially when it’s happening to the people who have lived on this land longer than anyone else.”