Rob Lackie – CMAJ

I am Inuit. I was born in Happy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador, the most southern community in our ancestral territory. My mom is a residential school survivor. When I was born, the Canadian government deemed her unfit to be a mother (which was not true), and I was placed into foster care. I didn’t meet my mom until I was in my mid-30s. I didn’t know I had any siblings. Now I know I have a younger sister. I was in my fourth foster home when I was adopted by a non-Indigenous family in Ontario. This is what consecutive generations of assimilation looks like. The Government of Canada has torn many Indigenous families apart this way.

I studied business administration and worked for big banks before moving to the education sector. I wanted to make a bigger impact on people’s lives and think about more than just being a part of the bottom line for big business. My focus has been to help Indigenous youth access education from elementary to postsecondary. It’s really challenging for so many of them to progress in their education without adequate resources. I won an award from Aboriginal Affairs for this work in 2011.

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