RE: Speaking engagement (Fall 2006)
"I just wanted to forward feedback from the staff and youth. Every time we have had a performance here, staff always say "oh that was great," etc. But it seems we have a new superhero in the building since Dallas' presentation on Saturday. Yesterday was my first day back since then and he is still the buzz of the building.
"As I went about my day smudging with the youth, the staff had a zillion questions about him. Even the staff were impressed by him...and believe me that in itself says a lot.
staff collectively stated that he was the best presentation/performer
they have seen in this building and wish the timing allowed him to
be here longer. They were impressed with how passionate he was about
what he does, how talented he was and the message he sent to the
youth, they all felt was very powerful. They said he is a great example
to the youth and really liked the fact that he shared his story about
being there too (in jail). And most of all they were so glad I scheduled
him to come on their shift."
And now the kids...
"(*) would really like to send a big thank you to Dallas for spending the time with him and (**) prior to his performance and teaching him some of the tricks...and for the hoops. On Tuesdays we run our drama program and most of the time (**) spent showing the other kids his 'hoop' moves. And in their words, he was way 'cool'...not just way cool but wwwwwaaaaayyyyyy cool. The youth too were very impressed with his 'speech' as they called it. And they were in 'awe' of his performance.
"I am very fortunate to see these kids and their kindness, their innocence and their talent that lies within them. And it's very important to me to surround these young babes with positive role models in their life, and as one staff person told me "Dallas is such a remarkable role model for these kids not only as to what you can do with your life and how you can change it but also, you can tell that he was very genuine and sincere in his interest in teaching/educating the youth."
"Dallas said he would like to come back and I am going to hold him to that because these kids would love the opportunity again. And you will have to let us know when the CD is released so we can purchase some copies for here.
"So, on behalf of my handsome homies and my chickie poos, once again thank you."
Doreen Lesperance, Native Programs Coordinator
Edmonton Young Offender Centre; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
References available on request.