Youth, Métis (2022)
Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, SK
“Our children are imitation artists, so be careful what you teach…I announced the plans for the Walking With Our Angels Ceremony to my trusted elders before I took my first step, knowing it would hold me accountable and help motivate me through any moments of doubt. And there were many moments of doubt. The mantra that delivered me to my destination was surrender and trust in your experience.”
Tristen Durocher knows that even small positive changes can lead to great things – and he has been instrumental in creating those changes. Inspired by the defeat of a suicide prevention bill in the Saskatchewan Legislature, Tristen created the “Walking With Our Angels” campaign to raise awareness of the disproportionately high rate of suicide among Northern and Indigenous peoples, walking 635 km from his home in Air Ronge, SK, to the Legislative grounds in Regina, SK. He set up a teepee and started a 44-day ceremonial fast to convince the provincial government to adopt the bill it had recently voted down. (The bill ultimately passed in April 2021.) An inspirational fiddle performer and instructor, Tristen teaches traditional fiddle music to youth in Northern Manitoba and won the “People’s Choice” award at the 2019 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition. Tristen uses his gifts of musicianship, writing, photography, and public speaking to empower Indigenous youth through Indigenous arts and culture.