Stories of Resilience with Mirtha Rivera

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Join us for a stories of resilience session with Mirtha Rivera, who will share with us her experiences, wisdom and reflections.

Mirtha Rivera was born in the capital city of Santiago, Chile, where a military coup overthrew the elected popular government in 1973. She was active in the students movement demanding free education, she was also involved in the demonstrations against the USA war in vietnam. She grew up learning dance, and singing was an everyday activity, her father was a singer.

Politics were always an important conversation in her family. Also at the time in the 60s when the music in the radio stations was all from the USA; in English; she joined a popular theater and a folk music and dance group in her neighborhood to reclaim her cultural roots. Mirtha came to Saskatchewan as a political refugee with her husband and young son in November 1975. The cold weather didn’t freeze her creative spark, and she continued her organizing work in the Chilean community, women’s community and arts communities.

Her heart is with the ones whose voices are not heard, the disabled, the houseless, the Undocumented. She is a singer, musician, writer, political activist, animal-lover, and mother of two grown sons. She and her companera began their relationship in 1989, lobbied for LGBT rights (including the right to marry) before 2005, and married in 2010.

Coming into the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we see there are many struggles that continue to confront our local and global communities. While we have international human rights law and foundations to guide us, we have a long way to go to actualize these rights and bring peace to our communities and world. The rates of hate and intolerance are growing, poverty is deepening, and Canadians are only now beginning to reckon with our deep history of genocide.

“If there is to be perpetual peace in a world of nation states, the individuals who live in them must be free, their human rights must be respected.” John Peters Humphrey

We thank the New Horizons for Seniors Program for enabling us to host these spaces of learning with our Elders.