Ms. Widia Larivière on Indigenous Youth and Self-determination

Credits: UNDESA – DSPD

Published on May 1, 2015

Widia Lariviere is Anishnabe from Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec, Canada, and has spent her entire life in an urban setting. She holds a degree in International Studies and Modern Languages from Laval University and a certificate in Immigration and Inter-ethnic Relations from the University of Quebec in Montreal.

As a feminist activist for Indigenous rights, she has advocated for the rights of Indigenous Peoples for many years, with a particular interest in issues faced by youth and women.

She is also the co-instigator of the Quebec chapter of the Idle No More social movement.

More recently, she was trained in filmmaking by the Wapikoni mobile and co-directed a short-documentary on Indigenous youth and their visions of self-determination. She has authored pieces in works, such as “Les femmes changent la lutte”, “Libres d’apprendre”, “Sœurs volées: enquête sur un féminicide au Canada” and “11 brefs essais contre l’austérité”.

Since 2009, Widia has been the Youth Coordinator for Quebec Native Women, and she continues to uphold Indigenous grassroots voices in the spirit of bringing Peoples together.

From youth empowerment in Canada to protection of cultural heritage in Australia; from income generating activities in Cameroon to advocating about women’s rights in Papua New Guinea and in India – watch six exceptionally inspiring indigenous women as they share their personal stories, their concerns, and their aspirations for indigenous communities around the world. Listen as they share the reasons that motivated them to dedicate their lives to advocating about the rights of indigenous peoples.

The interviews were conducted on behalf of the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, during the 14th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from April 20 to May 1, 2015.

The interviewees are participating at the 2015 Program on Human Rights and International Advocacy Skills of the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women through the International Indigenous Women’s Forum/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas (FIMI). FIMI’s mission is to bring together indigenous women leaders and human rights activists from different parts of the world to coordinate agendas, build capacity, and to develop leadership roles. FIMI encourages indigenous women’s participation in international decision-making processes by ensuring the consistent and serious inclusion of indigenous women’s perspectives in all discussions regarding human rights.

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