Seven Questions With Sonya Ballantyne

1. Why are you excited to speak at TEDxWinnipeg?

The opportunity to reach out to as many people as I can with my thoughts and ideas. Being a speaker will be like being given a megaphone that everyone is going to hear.

2. What is your idea worth spreading?

Indigenous youth in Manitoba are the fastest growing population with very little media for or about them and I believe they have something to say. I am in my 30s and, as a child, felt that I didn’t see myself on TV. I have spoken to 5th graders who still feel the same way.

I think the absence of positive media portrayals of Indigenous people contributes to negative opinions of us from others. I’ve been incorporating my own past with my TedX talk and I think it really helps show how media is both positive and negative

3. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Just finishing a movie. I never thought I would get to the point where I would finish one and I just finished my second. I was the first person in my family to graduate high school and university. Also writing something and then getting paid for it. I never thought I would ever get to do that.

4. How do you want to be remembered?

In a similar manner to Leonard Nimoy: Spock was, to some, a really dumb character, but meant a lot to others who found meaning in his portrayal. Even if my stories can be seen as a little light-hearted, I also hope people will see the message that is there and find meaning that helps them.

5. What’s the best gift anyone ever gave you?

My grandma forbade me from any “boy” interests and demanded my Dad and Grandpa not encourage it. My grandparents came for my birthday party and my grandpa sneaked me out to his truck, put his hand into the huge pile of snow in the back of his truck and pulled out a hockey stick. All he said was, “Don’t tell your grandma where you got it”. I always felt that hockey stick was his way of telling me I was his girl.

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?

The Idea Man or the overly excited person who accidentally fires off the gun during a heist scene in a movie and alerts the police.

7. What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?

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