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Compassion |
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hello everybody – my name is CHEVI

My name is Chevi Rabbit, I’m a member of the Montana First Nation and I was born and raised in the town of Ponoka. I grew up steeped in Plains Cree tradition and my family has been involved in regional First Nation Politics for nearly a century.


I grew up in a loving and accepting First Nation community where gender identity was never an issue and where I was blessed to be loved and accepted. This changed in college. In my naivety, I became influenced by the opinions of others regarding my people. I even felt ashamed of who I was because of the conversations I was part of, around Indigenous identities. Going from Indigenous to non-Indigenous communities was quite a culture shock. It was these conversations though that drove me to delve deeper into Indigenous social issues and I enrolled in Native Studies at the University of Alberta. It was here where I was brutally assaulted for being an openly gay man but even that became fuel to drive my goals. During that time I created Hate to Hope, a province-wide awareness campaign, and I have spent the last decade spreading awareness across Alberta.


Personal one on one interviews


Interviews with Chevi Rabbitt Lorem Ipsum gravida
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Interviews with Chevi Rabbitt Lorem Ipsum gravida
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Our communities thrive with understanding kindness, compassion, and acceptance

In the most simple terms, compassion is about appreciating other people’s feelings, especially when we’ve gone through the same ordeal. Yet it’s much larger than that because even if we’ve never experienced what they’re going through, we can put ourselves in their moccasins and feel how badly they might be feeling. When we’re in a state of suffering, our mental health begins to decline and we often act without compassion and cause harm to others.

Living with compassion in our community is not a new practice; we have always recognized that living a good life is a social experience.

Imagining how much we want others to feel good about themselves, for others to feel healthy and filled with joy – that is compassion. It’s not the reverse, where someone feels sorry for someone else. That’s empathy and sympathy. Maybe you’ve already figured this stuff out, yet to be compassionate towards others is expressing yourself in a deeper way, it involves opening our hearts and minds to others, breaking us out of the lonely, habit of thinking only of ourselves. In fact, our cultural phrase “all my relations” is built upon the deepest meaning of compassion. It means that we are all connected and we are never alone. Becasue we are all in this life together, facing problems together and, when we feel connected with others, we overcome the hardships of isolation, fear and anxiety.

Compassion needs to be active, urging us to assume responsibility to ease others’ struggle. Our ability to help might be limited, but still we do whatever we can because it’s just not okay to stand by while people are troubled and in pain. In these moments compassion becomes the strongest motivation to overcome our struggles and develop our full potential.

Our culture teaches us our ways of being in the world and compassion teaches us that we find Meaning in our sense of connection. That shows us right there just how much Compassion is anchored in our culture. It’s why we can say We Are Never Alone.