Pictured above: A beach in the Ahousaht First Nation, a small community located on Flores Island in B.C.
I couldn’t stop thinking about my community, especially my grandparents, and everything they were put through at residential schools.
The stories they shared were heartbreaking. It will take many, many years to heal these wounds.
My mom is from the Ahousaht First Nation and she’s the most Aboriginal person I know – a beautiful woman inside and out. I grew up off reserve but I’m very much in touch with my community. I speak and write in my native language. I’ve experienced the canoe journey, the Big House (where governance and traditional practice takes place) and powwows. I’ve put my heart and soul into my Indigenous identity.
I’ve been with Walmart Canada for almost 15 years, starting as a seasonal associate and working my way up. I’ve grown over the years thanks to the help and support of Julie Chahal, my market leader, and associates who took me under their wing.
Confidence was an issue when I first started, but Walmart Canada helped me get out of my shell.
Early in my career, a store manager told me he saw my potential. He encouraged me to apply for more senior roles and helped develop my skills. It wasn’t easy, but it helped me grow.
Since then, I’ve worked through six different roles, two store renovations and a pandemic. At one point, I had 220 associates working under me and ran the largest front end in Canada.