Jessica’s Story

Jessica and Rowan smiling

I feel so very lucky, so I’m giving back to my community. I’m writing today to ask you to join me.

This is the first letter like this I’ve ever written, and it feels pretty awkward. I’m just going to share my story with you, and hope that you can understand how my life has been impacted.

When I decided to walk through the doors of Ka Ni Kanichihk in 2013, I had just left a difficult and unhealthy relationship and felt very alone. I was a new mom with no real education. I hadn’t finished high school and had nowhere else to turn. But I had heard about Ka Ni Kanichihk from my mom, who went to a ceremony there.

I came to Ka Ni Kanichihk to look into some education and training and joined the Information and Office Administrative Assistant program.

When I started the program, I thought it would just be training to be an admin. I never realized how much more it would be. Not only did I receive an amazing  education, but I also had a chance to work on life skills and my healing. I was able to go to a lot of ceremonies and really had a chance to explore who I was as a Metis woman. I finally felt like I was somewhere I belonged.

But that doesn’t mean it was easy.

The staff at Ka Ni Kanichihk walked beside me through my healing journey and getting my education.

When I was having housing difficulties, or even personal difficulties, there was always someone to help me so I could stay in school. Ka Ni Kanichihk has provided a lot for me and my family – even food support when we needed it.

The instructors of the program were very patient with me as I was unlearning the toxic behaviors I learned growing up.

My son joined the Medicine Lodge Daycare while I went to my program, so they really walked beside my whole family.

With the help of Ka Ni Kanichihk I was able to go to my second year at Red River College. When I needed to do my practicum, Ka Ni Kanichihk let me do it at their front desk. After my practicum, I was offered a position as their Administrative Assistant. Fast forward 6 years, and I am now the Human Resource Administrator and my son and I have never been happier.

I get very emotional when I talk about Ka Ni Kanichihk. I usually cry. When I first came, I wasn’t exactly on the right path, and I had a lot of unhealthy behaviors that the staff helped me overcome. I honestly don’t know where my son and I would have ended up without them.

A lot of people depend on Ka Ni Kanichihk. I hope that if you are able, you will make a donation to help others like me find their path.

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