Meet Team ReconciliACTION YEG 21/22: Amanda Wagar
Updated: Sep 26, 2021
My name is Amanda Wagar, and I am the team lead for this year’s ReconciliACTION YEG blog. Yesterday you met Liz England, and for the remainder of this week you will be introduced to the rest of the team. Thank you for taking this time to learn more about us as “whole humans”.
Although I am Métis, I never knew much about my ancestry until high school when my father took me to the office of the Métis Nation of Alberta to get my Métis card. Honestly, I didn’t know what it all meant, but as time carried on I made it a point to educate myself about what it means to be Métis. This included a significant amount of time researching and learning about my personal family tree. In fact, during this process I learned that my ancestry is tied to two prominent members of the Edmonton area in the early 1930s: Colin Fraser, who was a fur trader with the Hudson's Bay Company and the officer in charge of Jasper House; and Nancy Beaudry, his wife, who was of Cree descent. Learning about these connections ignited a fire within me to learn as much as I could.
In 2015 I started a new chapter in my life when I found myself raising two very young children as a single mother. I decided that, to provide for my children and myself, I would need to return to university to upgrade my education and follow my passion. So, I returned to university and obtained an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice.
During my undergraduate degree, I was shocked to learn about the correlation between the number of Indigenous children involved in child welfare and the severe overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples within the criminal justice system. This correlation continued to interest me in my studies at law school and in my volunteer activities with Student Legal Services (SLS). During my time as an SLS day leader, I assisted Indigneous individuals who were struggling to navigate our complex criminal justice system — a system that has failed them since its inception. These experiences have sparked a keen interest for me and has inspired a significant amount of my research, writing, and advocacy within the criminal court system.
For this year’s contribution to the ReconciliACTION YEG blog, I intend to bring an Indigenous-informed, criminal justice perspective to my blog posts.
This year’s ReconciliACTION YEG team will be building off of last year’s grading of the implementation of the TRC’s Calls to Action. Join us as we discuss Part 2: The Truth About Reconciliation.
Until next time,
Team ReconciliAction YEG