#WorldSuicidePreventionDay2017

This post is dedicated to, Emerald Alexis Ann Sinclair.

Keep Rocking, Love you and Miss you!

(10.25.1992 – 05.14.14)

Every year on September 10th, we observe #WorldSuicidePreventionDay to promote and inspire people to take action to prevent suicides. This day gives many different people (Government, Organizations, and individuals) the opportunity to promote the awareness of Suicide, Mental Illnesses and to talk about suicide prevention.

Suicide is something that needs to be addressed more often, many people suffer from the stigma that comes with Mental Health as a whole. Something that struck me the most is that for every 5 people, 1 person will be dealing with a Mental Illness.

Now let’s put that in Winnipeg’s perspective – there are roughly 735,000 people living in Winnipeg. That would mean that 147,000 of Winnipeggers would be affected by a Mental Illness.

Sounds like a lot right? Now let’s try all of Canada. There are roughly 36,000,000 people living in Canada, that would mean that roughly 7,200,000 Canadians are affected by a Mental Illness. The thing that confuses me is since are there so many people affected – why is the Stigma still there?

Suicide is something that affects me personally, maybe you already knew – When I was in grade 11, my beautiful sister Emerald died by Suicide. I fell into a dark tunnel, unable to see the light – not even thinking there was ever going to be light again. Constant thoughts of doing it too kept popping up. I then realized that maybe all my sister wanted for me was to try to stay strong and to enjoy my life. I decided that if I took my life too, then who would be here to share the great stories about my sister, to make sure that her young sons were taken care of, to ensure that her legacy alive by sharing her story.

Emerald

I then knew that now is the time that I speak up and share both my story and my sisters. I now keep my sisters legacy alive by writing about Mental Health to my audience of over 42 countries and speaking to people all over Canada about staying strong and to keep writing their stories. I know for sure that if my sister could, she would give me a pat on the back. I’m glad that I continue to make her proud and I am thankful that she continues to guide me through my dark times in life.

Something that helped me find the light again was writing, this video is me sharing the story that helped me find my spark, light it and keep it going.

 

I really hope you enjoyed it, I want to remind everyone that YOU DO MATTER and that things do get better, it might be difficult to believe (Trust me, I understand) it’s not easy to listen to people when they tell you “It get’s better” or “Things are only temporary” and I now know that the best medicine is time. Time fixes everything. All you need to remember is that you are strong and that you can do anything that you believe.

 

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#DaughtersoftheVote

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the couple months of not posting, Writers block is awful and annoying sometimes. But I wanted to share something cool that I was able to participate in on the week of International Women’s Day (March 5th, 2017 – March 10th, 2017) and this was called Daughters of the Vote. Maybe you’re sitting there asking yourself,

What is Daughters of the Vote?

Well I am going to provide you with a short summary of what Daughters of the Vote is and why it’s around. Daughters of the Vote was hosted by Equal Voice Canada and brought 338 young women between the ages of 18-23, from each federal riding to Ottawa, Canada to participate in thought-provoking discussions, to make life-lasting friends and to meet their Member of Parliament. (MP)

I am happy and honoured to say that I was one of the 338 young women to fly to Ottawa to participate in this amazing and life-changing experience. I was able to participate in an indigenous forum to learn more about Indigenous issues in Canada and meet with approx. 70 other inspiring indigenous delegates from all across Canada. We were able to meet inspiring female MP’s and hear from the amazing Nahanni Fontaine and how she is using her title as a Politician to better and strengthen the community.

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Another highlight that I was able to experience at Daughters of the Vote was speaking to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women on the topic of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada. I spoke briefly on how the government should work towards creating shelters for all ages. Also, how being an indigenous women living in the largest “Urban Reserve” in Canada leaves me fearing for my protection because I feel like almost every month, we hear about another Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (MMIWG) It’s upsetting and I also gave my sympathy those the families of MMIWG. I lost my older sister, but we know how she passed, I can’t imagine not knowing if your sister, daughter, aunt, niece or friend is safe or not. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch it. Standing Committee on the Status of Women- Shania Pruden Video

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Something I enjoyed is how inspired Daughters of the Vote left me. I learned more about the different levels of politics, the values of each political party, Parliament Hill and learned more about ways women and girls can get involved with Politics. I heard a keynote address from The Right Honourable, Kim Campbell. How cool! I definitely want to one day become a Politician.

Okay, so I was able to do my FIRST ever LIVE NATIONAL NEWS Interview on CTV National while in Ottawa with a fellow Delegate and Elizabeth May – Here the link if you want to watch it! CTV National News: Power Play

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2017. I will never be able to express my gratitude on how Equal Voice gave 338 young women from across Canada the opportunity to take their seat in the House of Commons at Parliament Hill. We were able to hear from many of the delegates about issues that they’re passionate about and hear some amazing speeches from all the Party Leaders. Some of the delegates even got the opportunity to ask The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau questions – including me. Here’s a photo of me taking over the seat of Elmwood- Transcona.

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The friends I made while in Ottawa are very important to me because they were there when I got homesick, or was nervous about something. They were very opening and I will always appreciate them for that reason. Here’s a few photos from Ottawa.

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Daughters of the Vote left me very inspired and motivated to have a future in Politics, it also left many other young women just as inspired as I was. Here are some quotes from a few of the amazing Daughters of the Vote Delegates.

“Daughters of the vote, reminded me that I can do anything, and that I can achieve amazing things regardless of my personal challenges. No one sets my limits, but me.” -DoV Delegate for Burnaby South 

“Daughters of the vote showed me the beauty that can be achieved through solidarity and sisterhood. Never have I felt so uplifted and so inspired as when I stood in the house of commons cheering my sisters on as they made powerful speeches about issues they were deeply passionate about.” -DoV Delegate for Kanata-Carleton

“DOV reminded me that I have a voice and I can make people listen to me. It made me realize that while I fight for equality for women in technology, my fight is not unique. Women are stronger when women of different backgrounds (political afflication, ethnic, geography, language, and education) come together to fight for each other. There is strength in unity.” -Dov Delegate for Mississauga Centre

Before I end, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU! to Equal Voice Canada for putting this all together. The fact that you made it possible for every single seat in the House of Commons to be filled with women for the first time is truly remarkable. So Thank you for all you’ve done and for what you will do. I enjoyed my time in Ottawa and can’t wait to one day see some of the Daughters of the Vote Delegates put their names on the ballot.

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“A Woman’s Place is in the House of Commons!”

#Make150Count

Leading up to Canada’s 150th birthday, RBC is giving $150 to hundreds of young Canadians and challenging them to make a positive impact in their communities. I was one of those young Canadians selected to participate in RBC’s #Make150Count!

My project that I have decided to do was to make care-packages for the Bear Clan. Here is the video of my project.

To be part of our national movement – RBC’s #Make150Count – tell us how you will help create a better Canada through Instagram or Twitter using #Make150Count. For more information visit: www. make150count.ca

Youth Parliament of Manitoba

Have you ever wondered how political system work? I have too. But I was able to participate in the most beneficial program I’ve ever participated in. This program was called Youth Parliament of Manitoba .

I remember one day, surfing the internet and came across this. I didn’t think much of it and scrolled passed it. A couple weeks later, I happened to come across it again, this time I looked at the link and I had the slightest interest in it, but then again – I closed the link. A week later, it popped up again and this time, I took it into consideration. I spoke to my parents for a while and then made the decision to attend.

The first day, I was very shy. (don’t ask) and I didn’t know anyone, until I seen a friend! I was instantly comfortable to be there. I remember sitting down in the back. Just the environment I was in, everyone was so friendly.

During the next few days, we were able to learn the policies in politics and even participating in very interesting debates (It was my first time debating) and we also were given the opportunity to have a “Meet n’ Greet” luncheons with some political parties. (NDP, Progressive Conservatives and Liberals) During these luncheons, I was able to ask some of the politicians some questions that I’ve always wanted to ask politicians.

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A highlight for me was all the friends I’ve made. I was surprised how everyone become friends with everyone and how no one was left out. The friend’s I’ve made are definitely going to be in my life for a long time. They’ve made my Youth Parliament of Manitoba experience into something that I will never forget.

I would definitely encourage everyone between the ages of 16-20 to apply for this program because you don’t only learn more about the political system, but you make friends that will always be there for you. I can’t wait to go back next year!

For more information on Youth Parliament of Manitoba, you can visit http://www.ypmanitoba.ca/

Here are some more photos of my time at Youth Parliament of Manitoba!

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We Day 2016 Announcement!

Many people have asked me: “Are you at We Day again this year?” and I am happy to share with you guys my answer. So read below.

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What is We Day?

“WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. WE Schools is the yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformational social change.

Together they offer young people the tools and the inspiration to take social action, empower others and transform lives—including their own.”

This year on November 18th, 2016. We Day returns to the MTS Centre in Winnipeg! A day where over 16,000 students and educators come for a day of inspiration and celebration. That cool thing about We Day is that – You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day. Students earn their event tickets by taking one local and one global action through WE Schools, a yearlong educational program that engages and empowers young people to become compassionate leaders and active citizens.

Last year, I spoke at my first We Day at the MTS Centre and spoke to the audience about my story of reconciliation and how to live WE. This year, I have some exciting news to share with you! I’ve been to We Day as an audience member, honoured guest, volunteer, speaker and now I’m going as MEDIA! I will be able to interview some of the speakers and performers throughout the day and possibly meet some of the wonderful students that earned their way to We Day through hard-work and dedication.

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Here is a list of the speakers/performers coming to We Day Manitoba on November 18th, 2016! 

  1. Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) – American singer-songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality
  2. Hani Al Moulia – Photographer, teacher, and actor
  3. Jully Black (@JullyBlack) – Award-winning singer-songwriter, speaker, SheRO & SheEO!
  4. Celebrity Marauders – DJ collective including Kardinal Offishall, Cipha Sounds, DJ Starting From Scratch and Dready
  5. Mike Downie – Co-founder of the Gord Downie – Chanie Wenjack Fund
  6. Tyrone Edwards (@mr1LOVETO) – Host – E!/Much
  7. Capri Everitt (@80anthems) – Singer and youth ambassador
  8. Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) – Astronaut, author, professor, musician, first Canadian to walk in space/command a spaceship
  9. Rick Hansen (@RickHansenFdn) – Canadian Paralympian, activist, and philanthropist
  10. Jillea (@whoisjillea) – Singer and songwriter
  11. Craig and Marc Kielburger (@craigkielburger) – International activists and co-founders of WE
  12. Kyle Nobess (@kylenobess) – Film actor, YouTuber and writer
  13. The Honourable Brian Pallister (@Brian_Pallister) – Premier of Manitoba Government
  14. Tyler Shaw (@TylerShawMusic) – Platinum-selling and JUNO Award-nominated singer/songwriter
  15. Margaret Trudeau – Celebrated Canadian, author & mental health advocate
  16. Nico & Vinz (@NicoandVinz) – Musical duo, Nico Sereba and Vinz Dery 
  17. Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – ME to WE motivational speaker, WE Ambassador, and author
  18. Chloe Wilde (@TheChloeWilde) – ETALK Reporter and E! Host

I’m super excited for We Day, just so I can finally say that I’ve almost experienced We Day is almost all the ways you can! Thanks!

You can Follow my We Day experience on:

  • twitter: shania_pruden 
  • snapchat: shaniapruden
  • Instagram: shaniapruden

How to combat Racism

Racism is such a horrible thing that is STILL happens today. Today while I was out for lunch with my eleven-year-old brother, he told me something that I will never be able to accept from him. Not only because I think he is perfect the way he is, it’s because he is only ELEVEN!

“I wish I was born white!”

It’s so hard to accept the fact that racism happens in every age, not only in adults. I asked my brother “Why?” and he told me that because “Being white is better than being brown.” I’m in shock because my parents always tell us to never be ashamed of who we are and how we look.

What I want to share is that the only way we can move forward in life is realizing that the colour of someone’s skin does NOT define who they are. Moving to Winnipeg as a young indigenous girl, it was really difficult to find my true self. I was called so many negative names and I was always asked: “Why is your skin so dark?”

The way I am helping combat racism is by, Blogging! I remember feeling so tired of all the negative things I was told in life because of who I was and thinking and asking myself:

“How can I help end Racism – Not in a negative way, but in a positive way?”

So that’s really when it all started, I can honestly say that I was terrified of starting a blog. First things first, I didn’t know how to start a blog, or what I was going to write about. I was NOT a good writer and I was very nervous on the kind of feedback I would get from people. The biggest thing that encouraged me was the fact that is, If no one is doing anything to end racism – then who will? Just like my story and how I started my journey in joining the movement to end Racism, there are much more. It’s your time to pick up the pen and get writing! After the small conversation with my younger brother I want to help people know that YOU can make all the difference in the world by joining the movement to end Racism. It isn’t much but here is a couple ways that can help you start your story on combating racism.

  1. Be willing to listen: A good start is to just stop and being there to listen. Everyone has their stories, and it’s such a privilege to be one of the people to hear someone’s story.
  2. Stay Optimistic: Another good thing is to stay optimistic, there’s no minimum amount of racism you had to deal with to share your story. Small things that leave a HUGE impact on someone’s feelings – good and bad! So when someone shared their story with you, staying optimist will help.
  3. Ask questions: There is no such thing as too many questions. There is also no such thing as a “stupid question” it’s a good thing to do because the more you ask, the more you learn.
  4. Talk with your family about it: Getting your family involved to help end racism would be fantastic! It’s great doing things you love with the people you love.
  5. Be Inclusive: This is super important because it’s a way to ensure that everyone is included.
  6. Don’t be ashamed: Maybe you’re thinking your peers will tease you. Just always remember, to ignore the negatives. There will always be obstacles that come in life – but that’s your time to show your strength.

I really hope you the best in helping to combat racism. It’s something that is still happening, and if you are watching the current news – it’s devastating because we’re all the same…. humans. Just always remember that the only way to move forward in life is to realize that we’re all the same and that no one is better than anyone else. Thanks! 🙂