Ruby is a Grade 12 student who is from the Aboriginal community in her town. Overall, the First People’s community coexists peaceably with the white community and Ruby has many friends from both communities. Ruby feels comfortable with her Aboriginal heritage and background though it is not particularly important to her. She feels more strongly about being a student of her high school and a member of her community.
Recently, there has been some conflict in the community between the Aboriginal community and the rest of the town. The conflict is related to hunting rights. Hunting is a source of tourist dollars in this region, and local tourist operations struggle to make ends meet while respecting seasonal hunting regulations. The local on-reserve Aboriginal community is not required to adhere to these regulations, since hunting was traditionally and is currently an important means of survival for this community.
The different treatment between the two groups has aroused the anger of many of the non-Aboriginal citizens. Ruby and her family do not live on the reserve and do not hunt.
The conflict has trickled down to Ruby’s high school, where some youth from the two communities (off-reserve Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal) have recently been involved in physically or verbally violent confrontations. Ruby feels torn between the rupture between the two communities. She is suddenly regarded by her white friends and classmates as a representative of the Aboriginal community. Her position on the hunting issue is assumed to be supportive of that community’s rights.
In fact, Ruby is somewhat indifferent to the issue and doesn’t know all that much about it. Her parents are professionals and no one in her family hunts. When her friends and classmates ask her about the issue, she freezes and doesn’t know what to say. At the same time, she doesn’t like the things that are being said about people who look like her. She is starting to pay more attention to the issue so that she can speak out and defend the Aboriginal community.