Kale Bonham is an Ojibway woman and member of the Manitoba, Swan Lake First Nation who grew up in the North End of Winnipeg. As a youth care worker, teacher candidate and artist, she has been blazing trails in North End Winnipeg’s Selkirk Avenue community through art, education, and the Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO) anti-gang program. Her peers describe Kale as a very good mentor with lots of ideas to bring to the table. University of Manitoba Faculty of Education instructor Pauline Broderick says, “Kale is a gifted artist. Her work speaks to issues of social justice and inspires us to engage in making the world a better place for all. She is a fearless explorer of possibilities.” We are delighted that Kale will speak at TedxManitoba at our February event.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by possibility: what could be, what should be and by finding out what that means.
What do you do for a living and why?
I am currently a full-time student, studying to become a teacher. I want to become a teacher because teachers play integral roles in empowering the future—our young people. The most exciting thing is to ask a group of youth what they want in their futures, hear their responses and make plans to actualize their aspirations. Educators are on the forefront of what tomorrow will be like. What’s better than that? We might not change the world, but we may spark the minds that do.
Which TED talk do you think everyone should watch?
Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s Growing Roses in Concrete
Why are you excited to speak at TEDxManitoba?
Louis Riel is the grandfather of Manitoba, and he said, “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” I am excited to speak at TedxManitoba so I can say that my people are awake now, and that they’ve had beautiful dreams that are about to come true.
What is your idea worth spreading?
When people go to another country, city or even another side of town, they form their own perceptions of what it is like there. This can create barriers, stereotypes, intimidation, and fear on both sides of the tracks. By using visual communication (community art projects), one can show others what their own experiences of their community are: culture, hopes & dreams, friends & family, etc.,—a humanizing process of understanding each other along with recognizing differences/similarities that can bring communities together. Community provoked art ignites pride and positive identity within a neighbourhood and can create a visual dialogue that bridges communities.