Crystal Lavallee

Country of Origin:

Canada

Themes:

Citizenship, Black History/African Heritage, Aboriginal Issues, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity

Photos:

  • Browse while you listen: images with relate to audio

play video

Bio

Canadian history was NEVER on my radar. I went to school for leadership development and youth work, coupled with a passion for theatre.

In researching stories of our past and those who've gone before us, I was challenged by their decisions. Many 'heroes' sacrificed way back when, never really knowing if they'd ever benefit. To me, this sounded like a challenge and the question arose, 'what am I compelled to do to follow in their footsteps?'

In turn, I Am Compelled was born!

To date, we've performed our 45 minute theatre shows to over 10,000 students in elementary and high school across Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Our show brings to life our heritage and past heroes with the goal of compelling students towards responsible citizenship.

I am passionate about my country and through the vehicle of I Am Compelled, seek to inspire and encourage the next generation to keep Canada great!

Check out show details and my full bio at - www.iamcompelled.ca

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

My work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (SHIFT youth program) -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW8Kg53C-1Q

Story

Imagine going 26 years of your life without knowing your cultural background, feeling there was something missing, only to discover you are Metis.

Questions swirled around my head regarding this new discovery.

What did that mean?....Why did this matter?....Why was this significant?...

In digging deeper into my family tree, I realized there were years of pain and heartache among my Metis ancestors. They hid their culture because of the shame of being the 'half breed'. Heartbreak after heartbreak, the Metis were bullied and beaten down for being different. There was no freedom of expression. No freedom of religion. No freedom of culture. Everything creative about the Metis people were shut down and shunned. Almost locked down never to be opened again.

Enter your story. Enter my story. I've decided to not be silent about this piece of Canadian heritage! It is so rich with customs and clothing and entertainment. When I hear the music, or eat the food, apart of me comes alive. Identity comes alive and I feel more confident to build for a stronger future.

I challenge students to write their stories and get a vision for their futures!