We asked some of our people to share a story about an experience they had while working in a remote First Nations community, or with First Nations children. These are some of those stories.
"Once when I was in North Spirit Lake First Nation, I was part of a teaching around healthy finances or financial literacy. There was an elder, a couple of adult women, a young man and 2 young children who attended. We talked about how to ‘find’ or ‘make’ money by looking at things you spend money on often. One of the young girls talked about renting video games with money her parents giver every weekend; $20 for 4 and then laughed. She said, “I never return them on time so there is always another $5 I have to pay.” We did the calculation that without doing anything but returning the videos on time, assuming she rented 40 times, she would save $200. Then we calculated giving up 1 video game a week; another $200; 2 video games another $200. The girl could not belief how fast the dollars would add up. I have used other examples when in a community but none was as great as this; her eyes were big as saucers. My hope is that she will remember the lesson and it will help her be successful handling her money as she grows up.”
"Five days after my arrival to Pikangikum, I drove with the Trauma Team from SLFNHA to drop off some food at this one house. As we drove up, a bunch of kids were outside playing. As I hopped out of the truck, their faces lit up and ran over to me, shouting my name. They were wearing the same clothes as they were when I had first arrived, almost a week prior. I told them that we had brought them treats, and they came behind the truck to help carry things inside. Smiling, and looking up at me, they grabbed the bread, eggs, fruit and other groceries (we also bought them a pack of mini chocolate bars). I asked the mom – eyes glossed over, and clearly intoxicated – how many children she had in the house, and she replied that there are about twenty. I wasn’t surprised to hear this number, because at any given time at least 12 children can be seen playing outside. Our presence that night made the children happy, and we know that for at least a few days, they wouldn’t go hungry. Moreover, the children had remembered my name and came running towards us smiling. That night, I truly felt like I had made a difference.”