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CATCA recognizes that convention is situated on Treaty 7, South of Red Deer River, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina, and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the North of Red Deer River Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree, and Saulteaux territory. We honour the First Peoples who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land.

ATA President Schilling’s 2023 Convention Greeting. WATCH IT HERE!

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Friday, February 24 • 10:20am - 11:20am
‘Educa-shunned’ Observations from the hallway

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As a student Tazz was bullied incessantly by teachers and students alike for his weight, thick glasses, home life and inability to pay attention. His report cards tell the story: “easily distracted, disrupts the class and perhaps he should be tested to be placed in the ‘proper’ classroom environment”. His school experience was one of constant bruising to his body, emotions and self-esteem, from both student and adult bullies. Eventually Tazz realized that it wasn’t his fault for the way he was being treated by peers and those who were supposed to educate and protect him. It wasn’t a flaw in his character but theirs.

Once being told by a principal “this is life, better smarten and toughen up” Tazz knew in his heart that other students, like himself, were going to be treated the same way.

He openly talks about the path he stumbled through as a student from the “classroom shenanigans that must stop” to what drove him to his first suicide attempt, to seeking and finally creating help and hope for himself and others akin to him. He vowed that no student shall be undermined because of what they can’t control. Promote more understanding with educators for their students and themselves. Everyone has a unique struggle, but they also have a unique talent that must be polished so it may shine through.

Tazz speaks to the pressures of being a caring educator, often understaffed and underfunded. Championing those school staff where student development isn’t a job but a passion.

avatar for Big Daddy Tazz

Big Daddy Tazz

Often described as “one of the most talented comics in the business”, Big Daddy Tazz has been delighting crowds at fundraisers, corporate events, festivals and on television for more than a decade and a half. Known as the Bi-Polar Buddha, Tazz is equal parts comedian and mental... Read More →

Friday February 24, 2023 10:20am - 11:20am MST
Red Deer Polytechnic-Art Centre Main Stage
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