Judge's Diary (Sharon Acoose): Powerful and Moving Stories
Nov 9, 2010
Posted by: Sharon Acoose
Assistant Professor, First Nations University of Canada
The weekend I spent in Toronto Oct 2 & 3, 2010 was absolutely awesome. At first I felt out of place but I just accepted my surroundings and what I learned was great. This was my very first time doing this sort of thing. I have been a Judge in our First Nations University of Canada Pow-wow and that was awesome as well. I cannot believe there are so many amazing people in the world that donate their time and life for the sake of others. As an Indian (First Nations) woman I have been taught to be a good person and do everything I can to help others and I do this on a daily basis. But these Champions of Change contestants were fabulous and the ones that didn't make it really deserve some sort of recognition even in a letter. I believe honouring the Top 50 in some way would be a good idea. I was caught with emotion as we ran through all the contestants I was in awe, really, and very impressed.
The weekend was fast and furious. I do wish that I had one extra day to have been able to really read and study the contestants. Perhaps, if you will, it would have been even nice to speak to each of them - although that might have been some work, it is not a bad idea. It is easy to read about people, but speaking directly to them is also awesome.
The workload was intense but it is what it is. There really was no other way to do this in such a short time and I enjoyed it. The volunteer profiles were very helpful. It gave you an introduction of the contestants, their lives and all the good work they have done as a volunteer.
I think that grading is as good as it is going to get and I found it relatively efficient. Again more time to read over it and grade would have made a world of difference. The discussions were dynamite, listening to everyone who helped to pick and make decisions on who should be the Champions of Change. The dialogue was awesome.
I would love to do this again one day as it was such an amazing adventure. CBC was extremely awesome and has to be commended on all their hard work and they took care of the Judges beautifully. As far as opportunities, there are many, and it might be a good idea to carry some of the present contestants that did not make it to next year so that they might have a chance.
The stories of the contestants were extremely powerful and very moving. It makes you feel good about being a Canadian. I felt so warm in my heart. I just felt like 'wow, these people are too much, they are totally fierce'. They are courageous, selfless, brave and so on. The volunteers in my mind give Canada a great name and a great place to want to live. They each tell a story of strength, hope and love of mankind - no matter of the color of the skin.
I hope that once the voting process starts, Canadians do their part by voting because this is a very worthy cause. The Top 50 nominees are the cream of the crop as far as volunteering goes. They are beautiful, true Warriors in their own right. They have made a difference in the lives of those people who had the greatest needs of life. They brought a smile to a face that knows poverty, hatred, hunger, and homelessness. They are the Sun that shines. They truly are amazing Canadian people. Hiy! Hiy!
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