Clayton Thomas-Mueller: From gangs to fighting for Indigenous rights

Clayton Thomas-Mueller spent a big a part of his life on the imply streets of Winnipeg, linked to each gangs and medicines, however ultimately turned his angst into activism, and has spent a long time preventing for Indigenous rights.

It is a story he tells in his new memoir titled “Life within the Metropolis of Soiled Water”, a reference to the muddy rivers of his hometown.

“I have been in over 100 international locations. I at all times get drawn again to the west finish of Winnipeg,” Thomas-Mueller advised CTV Information. “To me it is a very particular and sacred place.”

Within the e-book, Winnipeg is the backdrop to an early lifetime of crime, but additionally the place he forges his path as a voice for human rights and the setting.

An activist, documentarian and writer, Thomas-Mueller has stood as much as the fossil gas trade, forestry and mining, together with his sights set on the hydroelectric system as properly.

“All of those actually damaging industries are adjoining to our communities and so environmental racism in Canada continues to be very a lot a pink and white challenge,” he stated.

However each story has a starting, and for Thomas-Mueller it began earlier than he was born because the son of a residential college survivor.

“My oldest son I had at 16, so I used to be only a child myself,” stated Thomas-Mueller’s mom Gail Pelletier. “We have been by means of loads collectively.”

Within the Seventies, Pelletier discovered herself attempting to lift a baby alone whereas coping with her personal trauma.

“I needed to study to have the ability to hug and kiss my little one with out pondering that I used to be going to abuse him,” she stated.

Pelletier ended up turning into a psychiatric nurse. On prime of instructing her son the significance of schooling and exhausting work, she reconnected him with the land and his tradition.

“Publicity to our ceremonies saved my life,” Thomas-Mueller stated.

Though he is stepped away from a few of his activism, Thomas-Mueller stated he sees the upcoming Nationwide Day for Fact and Reconciliation as a brand new place to begin within the combat for Indigenous rights.

“When native individuals are speaking about fact and reconciliation, we’re speaking about land again,” he stated. “Till we get that land again we are going to proceed to see the poverty, challenges and polarized political panorama right here on this nation.”

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