Original story by Mike Still, posted on the UM Today Indigenous News network page.
APRIL 5, 2018 —
Danielle Morrison has always had a deep connection to the environment. This comes from her upbringing, as her dad was a member of the Midewin society – an Indigenous group made up of spiritual advisors and healers. Because of this, she grew up with traditional teachings dealing with the responsibility to protect the water, land and animals.
Originally from Kenora in Treaty 3 territory, Morrison moved to Ottawa when she was 18 to do her undergraduate degree. During her time in the nation’s capital she began to feel very isolated from her community and her culture.
One of the ways she remedied this was by working with Indigenous organizations in the city, such as the Assembly of First Nations, where she helped within the Residential Schools unit. Her primary task was to aid Survivors in filling out forms dealing with compensation for abuse.
“There wasn’t a lot of trust in lawyers at that time. There was a lot of corrupt practice going on where survivors were being re-traumatized in the system, and told that they would get money and be given loans,” Morrison says.
“People were just jaded by the legal system, so they needed something that was more culturally appropriate, and that was what we provided.”
It was through this job that Morrison became inspired to pursue law school, getting unconditional acceptance to the University of Manitoba in 2016.