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They are cries of despair’ – Brantford Expositor

November 14, 2018

A creative writing award program honouring former Ontario lieutenant-governor James Bartleman draws up to 500 submissions a year from Indigenous youth.

Bartleman read one during a visit to Laurier Brantford on Wednesday.

The poem is full of anguish, with the young female author pleading with readers to “help me.”

“A lot of the submissions we get are like that,” said Bartleman. “They are cries of despair; cries for help.”

Bartleman was at the university speaking to two classes about his diplomatic career and his work championing Indigenous children. He spent more than 40 years as a public servant and was appointed Ontario’s first Indigenous lieutenant-governor in 2002, serving until 2007. In addition to serving as a foreign policy adviser to former prime minister Jean Chretien, he was Canadian ambassador to South Africa, Cuba and Israel.

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