Two speakers at an upcoming Saskatchewan youth conference have a lot in common, though they may not know each other.
The INSPIRE conference for youth from Passion to Action is coming up virtually on May 20. CBC Saskatchewan is a sponsor of the event. Both Alicia Morrow and Kam Bahia are speakers this year.
Morrow, a Cree woman from Peepeekisis First Nation, was involved in a car accident in 2015 that drastically changed her life. She said doctors didn't listen to her after the accident, which left her in a lot of pain and feeling helpless.
She created The Comeback Society — a registered non-profit which aims to support Indigenous peoples in finding their voice — with her sister. She and her collaborators also recently launched a podcast, something the accident inspired.
"I really wanted to be heard. I was 21 at the time of my accident. The doctors were telling me it was in my head and my mental state, you know, continued to drown because I was like, well, something's wrong with me. But, you know, they were telling me nothing," she told Shauna Powers on CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend.
"I listened to myself. I found my voice."
Morrow said she hopes the initiative inspires other people.
"I want other people to feel that. I want other people to understand how powerful their voice is. They can be validated. They can be heard just by, you know, your words," she said.
Kam Bahia is a teacher in Regina by day, but has founded an organization called I am H.E.R. (hopeful, equipped, resilient.) The organization believes that girls need girls, and that by building community connections for girls in Regina, they can help them on their paths forward.
The organizations hosts half-day workshops for young girls.
"I think it's really important that that our younger generations realize, you know, they're not alone in their struggles," she said.
"We all persevere and we all practice resilience. So that's why I think it's important for us just to get girls together and to have this raw, unfiltered conversation and just encourage one another."
The INSPIRE conference will be broadcast to students across the province on May 20 at 1 p.m. CST. It will be broadcast again at 7 p.m. the same day for the wider community. Registration is available on their website.