Chevi Rabbit was recognized by Premier Rachel Notley as one of the 25 most influential human rights activists at the Alberta legislature. Here she is being interviewed by a CTV News reporter. Photo submitted

Ponoka’s Chevi Rabbit recognized for human rights advocacy

She was recognized as one of the top 25 most influential human rights advocates

From negatives to positives, Chevi Rabbit’s story is one of growth, change and helping others.

Most recently, Rabbit, who is First Nations and transgender, was recognized as one of the top 25 most influential human rights advocates at the Alberta Legislature.

She and others were at the Legislature Dec. 4 to commemorate Human Rights Day, which was marked on Dec. 10 and celebrates the United Nations’ signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Part of the reason for her advocacy relates to inclusivity and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

“I really want to grow old and retire in a community that accepts me…I want to make Alberta a safe place,” said Rabbit.

Those efforts are making waves.

On the heels of this recent acclaim, the 32-year-old was announced as one of the Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2017. “It was really surprising,” said Rabbit of the experience.

Being recognized as one of the most influential young people in Edmonton comes from her Hate to Hope advocacy work. The rallies stem from being attacked in 2012 for being openly gay. It was a turning point in her life.

“I’m not a victim. So I turned it around into something else,” said Rabbit.

For Rabbit, it’s about a person’s ability rather than the label that makes them.

“I got in by merit and it wasn’t because I was First Nations or transgender. It was because of the work I’ve done,” said Rabbit.

“I’m not defined by all these little boxes.”

Being named with the other human rights leaders in the province was an honour for Rabbit, who was able to meet industry leaders and other individuals who are change-makers.

For her, community involvement comes naturally. Rabbit grew up in a family involved in First Nations politics and working to better the community’s needs is something she saw at an early age.

That desire for community involvement is giving her something to think about for the next municipal election. While it’s early days yet, Rabbit is looking at the potential of a run for Ward 8 in Edmonton in four years.

Looking at the positive is a key part of Rabbit’s life. Regardless of the challenges she’s faced over the years she moves forward. “You can succeed and not get stuck in the bitterness.”

Another area of focus for Rabbit is to raise money for a film she’d like to produce about two-spirit traditions and individuals.

“I want to know what’s going on in the lives of two-spirit people,” said Rabbit.

Regardless of her political drive, Rabbit plans to continue her successful Hate to Hope campaign and raise money for groups and associations that are in need.

Just Posted

Highway 53 concerns being looked at

Speed zone change being contemplated, other issues will depend on who has jurisdiction

UPDATE: Man reported missing has been located safely

Ponoka RCMP had been looking to find Joseph Desjarlais

SuperNet provider Axia cannot guarantee continued service

Alberta’s health, schools, libraries, municipal governments at risk from delayed bidding

Court full as schools, parents dispute Alberta gay-straight alliance law

Justice Centre argues keeping parents out of the loop violates freedom of religion and expression

Research paper states low income earners hit hardest by dairy supply management

Canada’s poorest spend more of annual income on food staples than higher income earners

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Innisfail RCMP respond to a shoplifting incident

Red Deer man and woman face charges

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

After World Cup lineup photographed, England urges media to help team

Now the England camp is actually asking media: Are you with us or against us?

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Most Read