Tashina says she was “a very shy girl” when she started attending Safe Space through the Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre. The opportunity to learn about her culture, and to dance in front of people and sing with her drum group, helped her “become the woman she is today.”
Here’s Tashina’s story.
I started Safe Space as an after-school activity when I was about six years old with the jingle dress dancing group. I later joined the drumming group and attended the evening sessions where we played games. At around 12 years old, I switched to the fancy shawl dance group.
I started to learn more about my culture and got more involved. I learned to dance jingle dress and attended pow wows across the province and in my school, and same with the fancy shawl group as I got older. I also was in the drum group, where I learned many traditional songs and even sang the honour song at my Grade 8 year-end/graduation ceremony at the Eleanor Graham Middle School.
As I continued at Safe Space, I began to grow my courage and I decided to join the Sea Cadet Program, which I attended from age 12 to 18. Safe Space helped with the growing of my leadership skills and helped me become the woman I am today. Being involved with the cadets and with the leadership skills I learned at Safe Space, I started taking on a leadership role. I eventually became the one in charge of the Elsipogtog Sea Cadets with the highest position, which is Coxswain. As I continued on with cadets, I started to then get involved with Elsipogtog ACCESS: Open Minds NB and participated on the Youth Council for Elsipogtog and also the National and Provincial Youth Councils for ACCESS: Open Minds, which I am still part of today.
This year, I graduated from high school and now I am in my first year of University. I hope to continue on succeeding in my life and become a schoolteacher.
By taking action today with a donation to United Way, you can make a tremendous impact in the lives of young people like Tashina.
Together, we can help make sure everyone who lives in Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick is able to succeed, and that they feel a sense of belonging and connection.