Kuei, my name is Vanessa Joseph and I’m 20 years old. I’m Innushkueu (Innu women) from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, where I was raised. The greatest thing I accomplished in 2021 is learning how to make traditional Innu snowshoes. My great-grandmother knew how to make them, but she couldn’t pass it down to her children and grandchildren because of the radical change in our lifestyles due to colonialism. I am extremely grateful for these teachings.
This year, I plan to get better at beading, at weaving snowshoes and in my art. I will go to university to invest in my education, on making day-to-day life safer and more peaceful for Indigenous people and other minorities so they can grow as much as anyone should. I am so thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to be assisted in my future personal and professional goals.