Chantel graduated with her Bachelors of Arts Degree from the University of Winnipeg. She is currently working as the Indigenous Cultural Program Coordinator at Marymound,
Chantel is a former Junior Staff, student and long-time participant of Rossbrook House. She says that Rossbrook has been a part of her life for 25 years. “I wouldn’t be who I am without the help of Rossbrook House.”
Chantel was a participant from the age of 7. She graduated from both Eagles’ Circle and Rising Sun schools. She continues to dance in the annual Rossbrook House POW WOW and now her two young daughters do, too. She has helped to teach the young dancers during POW WOW practices and has spoken about her experiences with Rossbrook in front of a crowd of almost 600 guests at a fundraising dinner in 2016.
Chantel received a Rossbrook scholarship award for a few years in a row, helping her to achieve her post-secondary education goals.
“Rossbrook has helped me and my two daughters tremendously. I received a scholarship that helps me pay for daycare expenses and also helps me pay for my university texts books.”
“Without the support system at Rossbrook House, I really do not know how I would get through my studies at school. They constantly check up on me and ask how I am doing, if I need any support they are always there,” Chantel said.
Chantel also received a U of W scholarship from Eric Johnson who was a big support to her. He generously created the scholarship specifically for a Rossbrook House participant.
“I would not be who I am nor where I am in life, without the help of this amazing place I call a home away from home. My daughters see how hard I work toward getting my education and again, this would not have been possible without Rossbrook’s help and support. I am forever grateful; they have given me a chance at life and are giving me the opportunity to provide a good future for my daughters!”
As an instructor with Marymound, Chantel is sharing her culture and knowledge with the students. Together they bead, make ribbon skirts, attend traditional ceremonies, and make moccasins. She says; “We have our very own cultural grounds which consists of our sweat lodge, teaching lodge and numerous tipis.”
Chantel is also sharing her experiences. “I was asked to develop a program for at-risk girls and women, that deals with family violence and abusive relationships,” she said. The focus is on healing through cultural traditions and ceremonies.
Chantel’s story has become full circle… Several participants from Rossbrook House are taking part in “Nimaskawizii: I am Strong”, the Indigenous women’s empowerment and leadership program that Chantel helped to create at Marymound.
“This is what I’ve wanted to do in life, because I have been through a lot in my life, too, and was able to heal through ceremonies,” she said.
Helping even just one person on their healing path is Chantel’s motivation.