Joel compares the level of support for Indigenous students in two high school environments (2:57)

Eventually it was just – it was too much for me.  I couldn’t handle the – the bullying, I couldn’t handle the – the bullying, I couldn’t handle the – the extra pressure in class.  You know, because you’re going through these things outside of class, you get into class it’s hard to concentrate.  You’re thinking about so many other things and you – you just – you’re feeling – you know, you’re feeling separate, and because you’re feeling separate you end up making yourself separate.  Like those feelings turn into actions and you end up sort of secluding yourself a little.  And I definitely did that.  And I left school to go and work.  Back then I left school to work full time and I was earning $260 a week full time, and I did that for six months and went, “No, I’m going back to school”.  So yeah, I tried going back to school.  I went to a different high school which was – and it’s the first time I’d ever seen an Indigenous coordinator.  There was, you know, there was – there was Indigenous like – like Indigenous teachers, like.  And not – and I don’t mean just like a black teacher, I mean teachers that were specifically to do – to deal with Indigenous dealings.  So like they knew about our culture, they – they had understandings and they were like Indigenous counsellors.  And this high school had – had all that, you know?  And I’d never, ever in my schooling life seen – seen that.  And I didn’t know, “What’s an Indigenous counsellor”?  You know, like is he a black guy counsellor or is he a white –

I don’t know if the teaching staff were educated in – in the Indigenous stuff or not, but they handled the Indigenous students so well.  I know, myself, the – the Indigenous students have a separate sort of need and, you know, needs when they’re at schooling, separate culture, separate upbringing so they – they bring separate things to the table.  And if someone doesn’t understand that, or at least have some sort of comprehension about it, we know and then instantly we’re like, “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, like.  And we shut down because someone will try and tell us something about something we already know.  But they tended to listen a lot more.  They – they gave you more space, they – they were – they were always there to help.  They offered their support, you know, and a – that’s – that’s definitely one, a really big thing