In 2013 I joined the Mentor Me girls group through the Pacific Association of First Nations Women. Every other Saturday we help out at the Urban Butterflies girls group, assisting to look after 6-14 year old girls who are in foster care from 10am-3pm. Once or twice a month we meet up to do a cultural activity or plan what kind of presentations we want to do for the younger girls.
Through this program I have developed cultural knowledge from doing activities such as beading, drumming, singing, native arts and crafts, and going to the museum of anthropology.
I have also done a healthy eating presentation for the Urban Butterflies. My friend Claudia and I showed them how to make some healthy smoothies that included spinach. We taught the kids that it is possible to make veggies taste good.
Over the years I have learned to see the kids for who they are, listen to them and what they have to say, as well as respect them for who they are. I always try to engage with the quiet ones since I was always the quiet kid growing up and wished that someone would start a conversation with me. I have helped mentor them into being the best they can be, by learning new tools and skills to engage them. I have learned to adapt to new responsibilities since we are always doing something different each time we meet. I have also improved my planning skills from our group discussions about things we can/should do with the younger girls as well as the older girls group.
Through this program I have added Erica Trubé and Mercedes Fortney to my network since I knew them but didn't hang out with them much before joining the program.
References- Joy Chalmers and Joleen Mitton; Office number (604) 872-1849