“Reconciliation is not something realized on a grand level, something that happens when a prime minister and a national chief shake hands. It takes place at a much more individual level. Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and that what is different between them needs to be respected.” – Wab Kinew, The Reason You Walk. The Reason You Walk is a memoir on a moving story about the reconciliation of a father and son. This memoir is captivating, brutally honest, funny, and relevant to ongoing issues in the Indigenous community. Wab Kinew was given an incredible position to work for CBC Manitoba as an associate producer. After this position, he began television reporting and hosting for different shows, which helped to get his message out. In the late 1990’s, Wab and some friends formed the rap group Dead Indians. They became well known among Indigenous youth via social media. After the band stopped performing, Wab went on with a solo career that won him best rap/hip hop album at the Indigenous Music Awards and started a controversy on his lyrics several years later when he entered the world of politics. Wab was always open about his political ambitions and how he wanted to help his people have a voice. This became possible after Wab won a seat in the New Democratic Party in Winnipeg for Fort Rouge, and his success continued after he was elected leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party. The reconciling Terra 2done throughout Wabs life was accomplished through the world of news, the power of music, and the influence of politics. The news could be a very beneficial platform to get your message heard all over the world by a variety of different people. There was a point in Wabs journalist career that things were not working out as he had a different viewpoint than the producers. He worked hard to get his message out on why former residential school students should be called “survivors”. Slowly, everyone was on his side and journalists, broadcasters, etc were allowed to use both terms survivors and students. Wabs determination almost cost him his job but he did what he believed was right to represent his people in a positive manner. Wab began becoming very known in the Indigenous community and became the voice for those suffering from the past. He did numerous reports and interviews on the life of a First Nations person and became very popular outside of the Indigenous community. ” It’s time that we talk. The 8th Fire is about us all coming to the fire together. These things happened…now what? What does reconciliation mean? The Apology for residential schools happened…now what?” ( Diaconal Ministries Canada, 2016) Kinew hosts now a tv series 8th Fire, which explored the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. After leaving the CBC, Wab joined the University of Winnipeg as the school’s first director of Indigenous inclusion. Later, he became the university’s associate vice-president for Indigenous relations, as his national profile continued growing and so did his broadcasting career. ” A lot of people are recognizing that learning about indigenous people is crucial to be an active and engaged citizen in our country,” ( CTV News, 2015) Wab discussed in such interview that it was the students from the university who wanted to make it a requirement to become Terra 3educated on the Indigenous culture to end racism and ignorance. More and more people are becoming aware of the issues among the Indigenous community thanks to the news.Music could be very influential and inspirational, that is exactly why Wab used this platform to get his voice heard, more specifically to the youth. Dead Indians made headlines in Canada and parts of America. They went on a week long tour to Native American Communities in the southwestern part of The United States. This musical group left a little piece of Winnipeg’s West End everywhere they went. Wab Kinew and two other members participated in two speaking panels about hip-hop and Native people at the Arizona State University and the Northern Arizona University. The group represented Manitoba and Canada very well, highlighting important facts in the beginning of each show. The tour was titled ” The CIB Tour” which stands for Certificate of Indian Blood which is a classification for Native American Status used by the U.S government. Wab also became very connected to his culture after the death of his brother and other family members. He thought it was time to reconcile and be apart of a community where he belonged. Wab attended many sundance’s and rituals, which included the ceremonial cutting of the participants flesh before they run. Such sundance’s include traditional drum circles and music to get the participants energy boosted. These rituals are apart of the healing journey which also include sweat lodges to purify the body. This type of music and rhythmic drumming at sundance’s helped Wab reconnect with his father, giving them a spiritual and cultural connection that they had lost when Wab was growing up. “More than any inheritance, more than any sacred item, more than any title, the legacy he left behind is this: as on that day in the sundance circle when he lifted me from the depths, he taught us that during our Terra 4time on earth we ought to love one another, and we ought to work hard to make them whole again. This is at the centre of sacred ceremonies practised by Indigenous people. This is what so many of us seek, no matter where we begin life. This is the reason you walk.” ( Kinew, The Reason You walk, 2015) The book came to a conclusion with how he found himself through sundance’s, the healing it provided and the connection it gave him with his identity. After the band Dead Indians separated, Wab began his own solo career, continuing to pursue with music. He has released thirty two songs on his own, each one having a specific meaning to it, which could already be portrayed within the title of the song. These songs are suppose to mentor the young Aboriginal youth mostly and to give them some hope and inspiration that life will get better. ‘Live by the Drum’ is one of his songs related to his culture, discussing Aboriginal traditions. “There were no divisions between the words of different faiths. Each expressed the same truth.” ( Kinew, The Reason You Walk, 2015) Music can express the truth and the tough times, music gives people a sense of equality and freedom, to let loose and open up. Music has helped Wab reconnect with his past and reconcile with his culture, also helping people that still have not connected with their identity.A politician must know what is good for their country, how to convey a message, and how to get the word out. The core values of the New Democrats include love, equality, and social justice, which motivates Wab to seek a better economy that works for everyone, with more and better jobs. Kinew had always been interested in running for the liberal party but instead chose provincial politics to make his debut. He won an easy seat in the New Democratic Party with 37% of the general election vote which was a challenge since he was up against his main rival Terra 5provincial Liberal leader, Rana Bokhari. Wab wants to use this new power to help Indigenous reconcile with the past and to make Canadians better understand the past and who they are now. Kinew’s capability to speak genuinely to Indigenous concerns establishes an extraordinary strength. In the aftermath of the endorsement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, many Manitobans are ready to advance in a spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous Manitobans. The anticipation of an Indigenous premier who can both communicate to and work toward reconciliation will be an alluring change for Manitobans hoping to grasp the Commission’s goals. Kinew is aiming to transform himself into a public figure who can demonstrate those desires of reconciliation. “I think we need more compassion, more understanding and more empathy when it comes to understanding the challenges around life on reserve. We shouldn’t be sitting around asking, “Why don’t people leave the place they were born,”; we should be sitting around and asking, “Why does the government of Canada give $4,000 less per student per year to First Nation schools?” ( Kinew, CBC, 2017) This is just an example of a problem Wab wants to fix through his leadership. Wab has gone through some challenges throughout his campaigning and elections due to his past. Kinew was accused of two convictions and a pair of stayed charges of assaulting a former partner. He has not dodged from discussing the charges which occurred over a decade ago. He has apologized for his behaviour but also states he can not be responsible for things he did not do. These allegations came out during his campaigning but Wab still had much support and help throughout his journey. “I’ve been very open and honest that I was in a difficult period in my life, when I was in my early 20s,” he said. “The person who is running to lead the NDP and who may one day get the honour to run for premier of Manitoba is the person that I am Terra 6today, it’s not the man that I was when I was 20 or 21 years old.” ( Kinew, CBC, 2017) He acknowledges the rough patches of his life and does not deny them, as he speaks the full truth throughout his memoir to give people all the insight to the truth. Even after the accusations, Wab was elected leader and will use this platform to help Indigenous people reconcile from the past and his other top priorities like education and health care. With the benefit of the news, influence of music, and domination of politics, the reconciliation between a father and son, and that of a country seeking for healing and a way forward was accomplished. Becoming a broadcaster was a huge step in Wab’s life to move forward and to give people insight on the Indigenous community that has become a huge factor of his life. Even though this job was very important to him, he took an absence of work to be with his father who was dying of cancer and to dedicate his time to helping his family. “If a son helps his father when he is sick, then his son will help him when he is old.” ( Kinew, The Reason You walk, memoir). Music has helped changed Wab’s life in a positive and beneficial manner. It helped him have a voice, to help others who were facing difficult situations in their lives. Music also brought him closer to his culture, as he participated in traditional ceremonies and rituals. After his brother, cousin, and friend died, he knew he had to do something. Going on these healing journeys helped him reconcile the past deaths and to move on to the future. As Wab was elected leader of the NDP in Manitoba, he has begun to discuss important issues going on with Indigenous people and how non-indigenous people could help. He also wants to help fix the education system and provide better healthcare to Aboriginals. He will not let the accusations tear him apart but instead give him strength to overcome the past and build a better tomorrow. “I Terra 7did grow up with the strength, wisdom and beauty of the Indigenous culture,” said Kinew. “But I also grew up with some of the negativity of our community.” (Kinew, CBC, 2017). The Reason You Walk will come to be understood as it should be — as the prophetic declaration of a new beginning, not only for Kinew and the family, culture and tradition he speaks for so affectingly, but for all Canadians. The heartbreaking spiritual element in Kinew’s acknowledgment broadens and deepens as the tale brings father and son and their associated indigenous life-work ahead into the contemporary display, boosted on the present swelling of reconciliation and forgiveness.