Maistoo’awaastaan (Crow Flag)

Student | UBC Vancouver

AKA: Rodney Little Mustache a citizen of the Piikani, Niitsitapi First Nation. An Undergrad with only 5 months of lectures until he graduates from the University of British Columbia within the Faculty of Arts: “Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice”, Program, with Major being Anthropology (to find out where we were), and Minor: Political Science (To work on how we can be one). 

Rodney is a strong ááwowáakii advocate and since 1986 has received numerous awards for his leadership and community service for the First Nation community. In 2018 with his mother and sister in attendance he was given the Faces of Today Leadership award at UBC. He is also the 2018 LOUD Scholarship, LOUD Business Association Vancouver, Jim Deva award.

At the University he has also been an advocate for change in the university system of governance. He advocated for 5 years for the Inclusion of First Nation, Inuit and Metis, within the governing bodies, employment, housing and decision making. He has advocated successfully for First Nations to be included and represented in University events and took the lead in advocating for an Indigenous Committee. He is often seen waving his hand in lectures to either correct or add his perspective on the day’s topic.

Rodney has lived with HIV for the past 29 years, and during these years he has worked within the HIV/AIDS community, where found his voice by attending BC male Survivors of Male Sexual Abuse, while working with 2 different Aboriginal AIDS organizations, Healing Our Spirit BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Society who honored him in and his mother in 2007 for their advocacy among families. The other organization is the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), where we worked and advocated nationally and who in 2014 honored him with their Lifetime Achievement on his own Journey and advocacy for those who are living with HIV/AIDS.

While working and attending therapy, and under the mentorship of many Great 2Spirit leaders, Rodney also was elected or appointed to different municipal, regional, provincial, and national working groups, committees, planning committees and board of directors. Ranging from transition housing, homelessness, HepC, HIV/AIDS, health, education, addictions, harm reduction and women and children who suffered from domestic abuse. He currently sits on the Leadership Committee for the Province of British Columbia’s Equity Project the Sexual and Gender Diversity Health Equity Collaborative.

Rodney has appeared in several poster campaigns ranging from sexual health to 2Spirit Pride. In 2006, Rodney also lent his voice and image in CAAN’s documentary series “Promising Practices”, and also was included in the supporting Music Video “No Shame”, written by Jason Lawrence.  And he has written articles for UBC’s The Talon RE: Has the LGBTQ Community looked in the Mirror. The second article: Brothers & Sister for Others, an article about seeing youth at the start of COVID on Granville Street. Rodney organized weekly Food shopping, preparation, packaging, & distribution with his three adopted brothers and a good friend who is like a sister.

Recently Rodney has followed in the footsteps of his Great Great Grandfather Stumiksisapo (Bull Plume) by creating a Historical Document on deer hide, called a Winter Count. The Winter Counts were used by most cultures of the Great Plains, but the practice is perhaps best associated with the Lakota and the Niitsitapi. Bull Plumes Winter Counts, which documents 214 years of the Piikani, Niitsitapi are now on display at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta.

Maistoo’awaastaan is thankful for the teachings of: Truth, Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect & Love. His mother who has worked in the field of Child Welfare for the past 37 years and with 2 university degrees is one of the reasons he is at UBC. Along with his brother, and three sisters each talented and possessing their own strengths. Also included are the strong, loud, vibrant people he has Stood with, spoke up with and marched with, as he in one way was an equal to them: Elders, People With HIV/AIDS, HepC or co-infected, Homeless, victims of sexual abuse, people with addictions, Students, Education, and currently is vocal on present government action of GENOCIDE, and during Federal elections you will see him in one of his Social Justice T-shirts expressing truths.

Finally like his mother he has been educating himself on the Child Welfare system and you can read his posts on twitter, where he speaks s his truth and the Truth of First Nation Communities. After his Undergrad – Law School or Human Rights Advocate.

Twitter: @Maistooawaasta1