Saskatoon

Saskatoon's Zoey Roy returns from weekend with PM and Royals

Saskatoon's Zoey Roy has returned from a weekend trip in Vancouver where she got a chance to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

Roy got special shout-out from Justin Trudeau during his speech

Zoey Roy, Saskatoon artist and activist, has returned from Vancouver after meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (CBC)

It's been a whirlwind weekend full of powerful people for Saskatoon's Zoey Roy.

The community-based educator and Métis artist spent the weekend in Vancouver where she got a chance to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate. 

It was part of an invite-only panel discussion for young inspired and inspiring Canadians to share ideas.

"It was really interesting because I knew I had to be grounded in order to really prepare for the event and all external stuff would happen if my spirit was in the right place,"  Roy told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. "So I just talked to my family and the people who loved me and that really grounded me."

Roy said during the meet and greet, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau told her there were opportunities for them to work together in the future. 

"I thought that was fantastic," said Roy.

The Duchess of Cambridge greets people in Vancouver, B.C. (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)

And when it came time to meet the Royals, she had one thing on her mind: babies.

"I said, 'Where are your babies? I really wanted to hold them,'" she said of meeting the Duchess. "And [Kate] was like, 'Well, they would have been cranky.' I was like, 'I could have taken care of them on the couch for you. I got you, girl.'"

Special shout-out from PM

Roy said before she had a chance to reach the Prime Minister, everyone was pulled away from the meet and greet for his speech.

"I felt really let down. I felt like I failed. I felt like I failed everyone who was supporting me and as he was making his speech, I was sinking, sinking, sinking," she explained. 

She perked up when she got special shout-out from Trudeau.

"Right here, right now. In your school, in your jobs and in your communities. We have leaders like that right here with us now. Leaders like Zoey Roy," Trudeau said during his speech.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks with Prince George following the arrival of Britain's Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Victoria International Airport. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

He went on: "Zoey is a young artist, activist and community leader. She had a difficult early life as far too many indigenous youth do. But with deeper knowledge of her Métis, Cree and Dene roots, Zoey reinvented her own life and has been transforming the lives of other people ever since and challenging those around her — including her leaders — to shift in their thinking and create the world, that she knows and we all know, we need to work hard to bring."

Roy said she she was able to pull the Prime Minister aside after his speech.

"I said what I had to say. I said my list. I said I really wanted to work with his youth council as well because I know that's where the capacity is and that we could really make a difference together," she said.

"He took my card, put it in his pocket and we went our separate ways and I know we're going to work together again."

Roy said she would like to thank the Muslim Healthcare Network and the team from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy for their generous contributions to make her trip possible.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

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