WE Day Manitoba 2017

Hey guys!

This year I had the privilege of once again attending WE Day Manitoba as Media. So this has been my 7th WE Day, I first started out as a Honoured Guest, to volunteering for three years, to speaking and two doing two years as Media!

Maybe you’re sitting there wondering what WE Day is. Here’s a short summary of what WE Day is:

WE Day is a celebration of people coming together to experience the “greatest classroom in the world” for the day – the cool thing I really love about WE Day is that you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day – You earn it through service by taking action on one local and one global cause through the WE Schools program.

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In the 2016/2017 school year, more than 475 schools and groups across Manitoba accomplished the following through WE Schools:

  • $630,000 raised in support of both local and global causes including reconciliation efforts, Syrian refugees, and raising awareness on bullying, homelessness, etc.
  • 225,000 hours volunteered by WE School participants across Manitoba

Congratulations to all the youth who earned their way to WE Day this year!

To start off, I was able to attend the WE Day volunteer training with my brother, we attended with the folks from RBC and the RBC Youth Summit, although I wasn’t a volunteer, I was able to help out anyways. I was able to help fill the WE Bags. The one thing that was really fun was being able to meet Katelyn! She’s one of the Volunteer recruitment staff at WE, we chatted for awhile – it felt like we knew each other for so long. After creating the WE bags, I was able to join Katelyn near the exit handing out WE Volunteer pins to volunteers as they exited the venue. It was really cool and such an easy job (I had Laryngitis) – But something that was great was meeting some students that watched some of my speeches and conferences, I really love following up with people because I tend to have a busy schedule so it’s always a pleasure to meet fellow change-makers.

Something that stuck out most for me when they invited an elder to do a land acknowledgement and prayer – how cool?  Another exciting thing is this year was being able to interview a couple people who I really thought inspired me the most. The first person I was able to interview was Ben Sabic. Ben is a student at the University of Manitoba – he’s also a community leader and mental health advocate. I think the reason why I was drawn to Ben is because we both use our personal experiences to raise awareness on Mental Health. When asked about ways someone can get involved – he said to just go for it, just take baby steps because you’ll eventually reach your goal! The thing that really stuck to me was when he said “While 1 in 5 people are affected by Mental Illness at some point in their life, 5 in 5 people have a Mental Health” What this really shows is that since we all have Mental Health, then it shouldn’t be something that’s stigmatized. Many people focus more on their physical health – for that reason, I think people like Ben are going to help end the stigma for sure!

One of the main highlights of WE Day this year was being able to interview Hannah Alper! Hannah and I met a few years ago at the WE Create Change tour, I remember sitting there thinking “Wow, this girl is only 10 and she’s already done so much” – at that point I had two options: 1) I can sit back and let it make me feel bad about myself because I wasn’t much compared to 10 year old Hannah or 2) Let her story help me ignite my spark and work towards achieving my goal of being the change I wish to see in the world. Fast forward a couple years, not only has Hannah built herself a global platform, she’s just published her first book called Momentus. It features 19 of Hannah’s role-models, and I cannot express how honoured I am to say that I am one of those 19 people. During WE Day Manitoba, we were able to reunite and talk about her book. I asked her why she decided to write a book such as Momentus and her answer will stick with me, she said “It really helps me share my message in a different outlet, but also all my role-models and people can really see themselves in my role-models and finish reading the book feeling inspired to change the world.” After our chat about Momentus, we were able to take a “Mini photo-shoot” with the WE sign and Hannah’s co-host Tai Young. It’s really cool how one person’s story can inspire you so much that it changes your life for the better. Here are a few photos we took in the Green Room.

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Something I really enjoy every year at WE Day is seeing my old wrangler Paige, I met Paige two years ago when I spoke at WE Day Manitoba back in 2015, ever since then we always run into each other backstage and it always makes the day much better. My niece Braelyn actually talks about Paige throughout the year, but when she sees Paige at WE Day – she suddenly becomes shy. Once again, Thanks Paige for always managing to make WE Day even better!

Before I end off, I would like to say THANK YOU WE for always being so welcoming and for helping me with build my platform. I hope to see you all at WE Day next year, Miigwetch!

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#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.

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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.

 

#MIAW2017

For you Emerald Alexis Ann Sinclair 
10.25.92 – 05.14.14

I’ve been thinking for the past week about what I can write about for #MIAW2017 and I thought of doing something that I’ve never done before. Remember when the Netflix show “13 Reason’s Why” came out? I remember reading about a group of teenagers who re-wrote that narrative and changed it to “13 Reason’s Why Not” – Yes, I know… I am so behind on trends, but I thought I’d share with you the 13 Reason’s Why I am still here. Hope you enjoy.

  1. My older sister’s legacy: Many of you already know that I lost my beautiful sister Emerald to suicide three years ago. The last thing that I promised her is that I will do my complete best to ensure that her story is shared with everyone. So everyone knows how funny and beautiful she was. If I wasn’t here, then who’d be keeping her legacy alive? She’s my biggest motivation – I love you, Emmy!
  2. My Mother: So if you’ve been to any of my speeches you might remember how I always manage to point my mother out in front of the whole crowd. I know she hates it, but I think she secretly likes it. Ha! My mother is my biggest supporter I have, she’s always with me and she will always continue to be with me. When I am feeling down, she’s always there to help me smile and stay strong. I love you, Mom!
  3. My Blog: This is something that I will forever be proud of. When I was in grade 9, I would have never imagined that my Blog would get this far – it’s been read in over 42 countries! How cool? When I was younger, my writing skills weren’t the greatest, but having a blog has helped me develop writing skills and I can’t wait to see where my blog takes me next! I love my Blog!
  4. My Speeches: Funny story, ask anyone that has known me most of my life (Cough* My Mother *Cough) I actually was the quietest child ever. I was terrified of people, I just couldn’t do it! Maybe it was because I was always told my voice didn’t matter? But when I was given the opportunity to speak up about something I care about – without a doubt, I did! Now, my favourite thing about life right now would be my speaking. It’s amazing to reflect on how much I’ve grown and met so many cool people. I love my all Speeches!
  5. My Cats: Okay, let’s be honest – I can’t even express how much I love my cats! They are my life, I love them so much. Many people believe that having pets causes a lot of stress, but for me, I really think of them of being rather therapeutic. The feeling of coming home from a long day of school or work and cuddling with cats is the best! I love my cute cats!
  6. My Job: I know that most people think of their job as very stressful – but for me, I really enjoy my job. I work at a place where no one is left out, for that reason – I really enjoy being at work. I work at a place where many people come through the doors and learn about an important topic. I work at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and being able to help people through their journey of Human Rights is amazing, I love my job!
  7. My Nephews and Nieces: I have two nephews and 2 nieces (All under 7yrs old) and sometimes it can get a little hectic. But that doesn’t matter because their presence is what makes it more enjoyable. My family has taken on the role of being the legal caregivers of my two nephews because when my sister passed away, we welcomed them with open arms. I have no regrets because I love them with all my heart. They help remind me the beauty of life. I love my nieces and nephews!
  8. My Brothers and Sisters: I come from a family of 6 kids, so it’s a pretty big family. Each and every one of my siblings play a huge part of why I’m still here. Even though there are some bumps in our path, it doesn’t mean that it has to stop there. When we argue or disagree is something – we know that we will always be there for each other, we forgive each other – we’re siblings, it’s what we do. I love my siblings!
  9. My Memories: Over the past three years, my life changed drastically. I believe it’s because I decided that I KNEW it wasn’t time to end my story, that there’s so much more to life that you think. If I did leave, I wouldn’t have experienced speaking on a WE Day Stage, travel across Canada speaking to thousands, taking my seat in the House of Commons, Graduating High-School or Experiencing my first day of University. My favourite quote is “Life’s what you make it – so make it right!” -Hannah Montana. I love all the memories that always remind me of how great life is if you always imagine the possibilities!
  10. My circle of support: One thing that I really am thankful for is all the support that I’ve gotten from so many people – including people I’ve never met before. It’s amazing to see how one person can go from feelings of unwantedness to feelings of self-worth. I know that this has taught me that I should always be open-minded and friendly to everyone I encounter. I really am thankful for all the support I’ve gotten these past three years, I love all the support!
  11. My Friends: They play an important part of who I am today. Growing up, I didn’t have many friends, I actually would prefer to be alone. But looking back at it, it’s not very nice not having someone to be around. I’ve grown to love being around people – especially my friends. My friends are amazing and I will always be thankful for them, for continuing to provide me with cool opportunities – a big one is from my friend Hannah, she’s written a book. I’m so honoured that she saw potential in me to include me in her book, Momentus – Thanks, Hannah! I love all my friends!
  12. My hobbies: I have so many hobbies, the main one being writing. Writing has helped show me the world in a different perspective. While I was going through my darkest time in life, one of the main things that helped me find the light was writing. I’m so glad that something so simple as writing, helped save my life. I love writing, I hope you do too!
  13. My Future: Last but not least, my future! Although I don’t know what my future holds, I know that there are going to be so many cool new experiences to come. I still have so much more stories to write and share with everyone. A big motivation would definitely be my dream job, which is to one day – maybe become Prime Minister of Canada. When you think about it, if I were to take my own life, I wouldn’t ever be able to experience that. So my future is what helped remind me that regardless of what is happening in the present, it doesn’t mean it’ll stay into the future. Pain is only temporary and time is the best medicine. I love life so much and I cannot wait to see what my future holds!

One thing I hope you take from reading this, I really hope you stop and think of the “13 Reason’s Why” you’re still here. Remember that time is the best medicine and to always stay strong. You’re amazing and you have a purpose, try to remember that your story might be why someone is still writing theirs. I hope you had a great week and that just because #MIAW is almost to an end, that we shouldn’t stop here. The more we talk about our experiences and share our thoughts – the more conversations start.

Miigwetch! 🙂

#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