Humans of COP22 – Native American Canadian Youth Delegate

Humans of COP22 – Native American Canadian Youth Delegate

Native American Canadian youth delegate Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie (Photo credit: Jennie Sun)
Native American Canadian youth delegate Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie (Photo credit: Jennie Sun)

How do you feel about the results of the presidential election?

I wish Bernie didn’t drop out. It could have saved so many people… I don’t think [Trump] totally understands his own capacity—I don’t think he’s smart enough, to be honest. He doesn’t know what it takes to be president, I don’t think he understands how much work is put into it, and he’s just going to bulldoze whatever he feels like isn’t working without respecting process… To be honest, I don’t even understand his policies.

How do you think Trump’s administration will affect America?

The way I see it is that like people are going to be rioting on the streets… It’s not even just like marches at this point, people are really going to express a lot of their frustration on like every single thing that’s been happening. People are going to be very reactionary, which could be a good thing but also a bad thing. Good in that people are expressing their frustration, but also the bad thing is working on how possible is anything that we’re striving for. And that discourages a lot of people… That’s the only way that they’ll be heard. They’ve exhausted all other avenues of posing questions, trying to write letters, talking to other people, doing ground work and writing as much as possible, on science and everything surrounding climate justice.

But there’s a wall now, officially. It’s become like a dictatorship within a democracy. And people will start to get the sense of that to the point where that they will have to do something—like civil disobedience—that is the only way for a lot of people to express a lot of their frustration because they’re not going to get any answers anywhere else. Which sucks. But maybe that’s needed–maybe it’s necessary that people have to get to the point, because I feel like a lot of people are very removed, are very passive. I’m sure that there’s a good population of people that are, but now when they’re realize that he’s not going to fulfill anything that you asked him to and that he said he would, he’s literally in there for, you know, corporate interests, the fame. People assumed that, ‘Oh, he’s there for me because he’s somewhat hearing my racism, he’s hearing my sexism, he’s hearing all these things that I feel are amazing,’ but when it actually comes down to it, he’s not going to help them with jobs, he’s not going to help them with anything that really matters with their life day to day. 

What do you think the unrest will lead to?

You know one of these days he’s going to lose a lot of his support—it’s only a matter of time… He’s so against anything progressive and anything that’s rights-based. People might react and try to get him assassinated or something. I wouldn’t be surprised and I wouldn’t be sad, either. People feel like, ‘Oh yeah, he totally aligned with me,’ but they’ll finally realize that he’s not actually going to help them… It will happen, though. There will be somebody who’s driven to much rage and frustration that they say, ‘This person needs to be out,’ and bypass the election process. Seriously, there’s some crazy people out there in America.

— Sadie Phoenix Alexa Michelle Lavoie, University of Winnipeg

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