The ProudRoots Story:

A letter

A letter to my grandparents:

Parekura and Richard, Tangi and Bert

I miss you all more than I know how to describe. I wish I could sit on the couch, turn my head to the left and see you all sitting there, with a cup of tea and pack of biscuits, just one more time.

Gone though not forgotten,
Although we are apart,
Your spirit lives within me
Forever, in my heart.

I come to you all in need of guidance.

I’m trying to achieve something, and I need your strength, courage and resilience to help me do so; the same strength, courage and resilience which saw you survive times of pain, trauma and upheaval. Times in which the scars that are left on our people are still healing. Times whose stories have haunted me into action.

Everywhere I look I see Indigenous peoples – First Nations peoples – suffering.

I see one billion of us worldwide who have suffered the same history, torture and dispossession.

I see peoples who share the same problems with youth suicide, with homelessness, with poverty, mental health and more….

But I also see a group of people who, if united, could become the most powerful, intelligent and unstoppable force the world has genuinely ever seen. It sounds like a cliché, or a line from a movie, but imagine the strength of one billion Indigenous people, all with similar histories, now coming together to build our future, the future WE want.

We share our pasts... now let's share our futures.

I come to you for guidance because I’m no expert, but I know with you all by my side there’s no challenge that I cannot surmount.

I’ve started a not-for-profit organisation called ProudRoots, the fundamental aim of which is to unite Indigenous people to achieve our common goals.

It’s been a journey getting things to where they are today, and if tomorrow ever comes, I hope I’ll be prepared.

But regardless of what happens here, regardless of what successes or failures may come, I hope I am doing a good job in carrying the torch, and most of all…

I hope to make you Proud.

With lots of love, your grandson,

- Mj

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