“Whenever there is an opportunity to share my experience with people, it usually doesn’t take much for me to jump on board,” states Justin Rain when I ask him about his experiences at a recent event co-hosted by Career Services and the Indigenous Student Centre, “Indigenous Peoples’ Career Stories.”
But what is it that makes Justin’s experience worth hearing? Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s a young, award winning First Nations actor. Or it could be his rise above the struggles many indigenous youth experience in drugs, violence, and alcohol abuse. If that’s not it, maybe it’s the work he’s doing speaking to high school students about his journey, eventually across Canada. Of course, I’m sure the fact that he played a werewolf in Twilight: Eclipse doesn’t hurt, either.
If you missed the “Indigenous Peoples’ Career Stories” event on March 3rd, Justin was one of 5 First Nations panelists telling their stories to an eager, bannock-filled crowd on what turned out to be a snowy evening up here at SFU’s Burnaby campus. But however cold it was outside, an atmosphere of intimate warmth was shared by those in attendance, thanks to SFU’s welcoming First Nations community and the intriguing and inspiring stories shared by Justin and his co-panelists.
It became clear at the event that the First Nations’ oral tradition of transmitting knowledge still thrives today – something Justin confirms when I ask him about his willingness to volunteer his time at the event, saying that he “always enjoyed listening to role models’ personal struggles and the journeys they’ve walked… maybe I could inspire others through sharing my stories with them.” (more…)