We contacted Jellisa late one night over Twitter, to ask if she would "love" Attawapiskat with us. Happily, she said. We were thrilled, and our question left her thinking.
A few days passed, and Jellisa circled back to find out more about our organization, and more specifically about Attawapiskat. Like many, she was aware that something terrible had happened amongst the youth, but wasn't clear on what exactly, and why.
Attawapiskat is symbolic of one hundred or more communities in Canada where the youth are crippled by hopelessness. Where losing friends to suicide is commonplace. Where the future seems dim.
As we spoke, Jellisa was overcome with the realization that there is another community besides her own that struggles intensely with the pain that comes from racism, discrimination, poverty and despair.
Since that conversation, Jellisa has done much research. She is well informed and a passionate advocate amongst her friends and circle of influence, to let others know that Canada's Indigenous youth need our love and help. Her zeal, and knowing that she will educate others, brings us great joy. This is what we aim for every time we ask anyone: will you love Attawapiskat with us?