I am grateful to be able to look back nine generations to my Cree, Saulteaux, French ancestors. Today, my family is truly blessed to have five generations in my family on my mother's side. My mother's name is Valerie Crane she was born in 1958 & married a Straightnose from Keeseekoose First Nation. My grandma - my Coco Myrtle [Moise] was born in 1938 & married a Crane from The Key First Nation. My great grandma Philomene [Cyr] was born in 1911 & she married a Moise from Muskowekwan First Nation.
My great great grandfather Albert Cyr was born in 1889 & was from George Gordon First Nation. My great great great grandfather John Cyr he was born in 1854 & was also a registered member on the Gordon reserve. My great great great great grandfather was Tersil Cyr. My great great great great great grandfather Louis Cyr was born in 1830 in Lower Canada (Quebec) he was a voyager - so interesting!
I have over 6 years of volunteer Board experience most recently I am the Secretary for Ross Shep School Council. I was truly humbled to be honoured by the Aboriginal Women's Professional Association and was able to pull a team together to do a video series titled She Connects Us -which honoured daughters, mothers and grandmothers stories for Mother's Day. Along with launching the first Indigenous Women's Business Panel in Treaty 6 territory.
It is my role to continue to breathe life into others by sharing - our resiliency, our teachings, our gifts to others who need it at that very moment. Everyday I strive to make my way of life better than the one I had to experience and am truly grateful for what I have health, love and endless opportunities the journey of entrepreneurship and business taught me thus far.
You can find me in the community connecting and collaborating with others or you can find me on social media just like all the rest of the Indigenous community -Instagram for the pretty pictures, art and some photo stying and ongoing updates on Facebook for more pretty Indigenous pictures, art and photoshoots.
To the women who gave me life
It is now my turn to be a giver of life
I am owner of BravHer Consulting, Mah Art & Photography. I am originally from Keeseekoose First Nation, located in Treaty 4 territory. I am married into Treaty 6 my husband is from Alexander First Nation. I have a story to share both on a personal and professional levels. I am a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter and more recently a grandma. I have a Bachelor of Education Degree with a minor in Native Studies from the University of Alberta. Along with over 17 years of experience working with both urban and First Nations peoples and communities - in indigenous planning, community economic development and business, program development and management.
Everyday I feel so blessed & thankful to the women who gave me life - my teachers, the healers, the achievers & my mentors. My late great grandma Philomene - Kokum Rising of the Sun Woman gave me strength & humbleness (1913-2016) my Coco who gifted me with perseverance & hope. My mother who instilled giving and the importance of being kind and compassionate.
To my Auntie taught me the importance of advocacy & to always be a voice for others - because I seen her lead gave me the confidence. My other Aunt who modelled integrity, values & showed me the importance of living a life without dependency on any substances. Today I have 24 years of sobriety! Lastly, to my other Auntie who is my inspiration - she modelled and highly emphasized education is key. Today, the Creator along with my teachers remain my greatest motivation for stepping into entrepreneurship.
In 2008 I faced my greatest challenge a life I gave as a teenage mother ended in suicide and most recently lost another son so suddenly in January 2020. This taught me my greatest lesson never to take something as simple as a breath for granted. Today, my children remain my greatest motivation along with choosing to live a life free from dependency I have 26 years of sobriety.
As First Nations woman, we have the power to give life. In this journey called life I have found my purpose. It is now my turn to be a giver - a giver of life to commit to giving back to individuals and to the community. It is my turn to teach, to lead, to commit, to share, to help, to support, to give back, to give hope, to empower & to leave others inspired - always.
Looking back I took what I needed from each one of my teachers & my resiliency began the day I was born. I am an intergenerational survivor of physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse of the aftermath of residential school - I have always strived to make my situation, my way of life and my children's lives better than the one I had to experience.