Woman Warrior Wednesday – Profiles that Inspire

Women Warriors is a tribute to my grandmother, Anne Enge (1933-2010). She had many accolades to her name, including the first Aboriginal woman in the Northwest Territories to obtain her high school diploma, a wonderful mother to seven children, and a respected Metis elder in her community. She also had type II diabetes, and it’s an intergenerational disease in my family. Following is an excerpt from the Northern News Services obituary article published on Friday, April 9th, 2010.

Born in Fort Smith in 1933, Anne Mercredi spent her early years living on her father’s trapline. After her mother came down with tuberculosis, she and her sister were sent to a residential school in Fort Resolution.

Enge

She started working at 16, following a two-year battle with tuberculosis, but she would eventually graduate from Grade 12. She then attended the McTavish Business College in Edmonton and upon graduation got a job at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Edmonton.

She married Bill Enge in her early 20s and had seven children. The family moved to Yellowknife in 1969, where she worked eight years as a matron at the former Yellowknife Women’s Correctional Centre. Following the breakup of her marriage, she moved to Calgary with four of her children in 1977 to attend the University of Calgary, from which she graduated with a degree in social work in 1981.

She then worked at the NWT Department of Social Services until her retirement.

Anne was a school board trustee with Yellowknife Education District No. 1 from 2000 to 2003, working alongside fellow trustee Terry Brookes. He said he had enjoyed working with her and described her as “a very eloquent lady.”

“(She was) a woman who would speak her mind and a woman who was worth listening to. She had many good and very calm and intelligent comments that I wanted to hear,” he said. “She helped collectively make a better education system for the kids and that’s what it ultimately comes down to.”

Brookes said Anne Enge was the first Yk1 board member with an aboriginal background.

She was at the forefront, he added, of the introduction of aboriginal education into the school system.

“She had that magic to enjoy life and she always had a very full laugh. She always had a great smile. She always looked at the positive side.”

Bill said his mother taught her children to be proud Metis.

 

Anne Enge & Family

“There are additional barriers to aboriginal people to accomplish things, but in my mother’s way of thinking, don’t let that drag you down,” he said. “If you show the determination and the heart for something, you are going to get there. Dream and aim high and work at it.”

I created Women Warriors to help women reclaim their health and self-esteem through an active lifestyle. My focus is on raising awareness of the type II diabetes epidemic in Canada, and prevention through physical activity. My group offers free fitness classes and nutrition education, because good health should never be elitist.

Profiles that Inspire

Profiles that Inspire – Robyn

Robyn is 31 years old, resides in Lloydminster and is a certified nail tech and stay-at-home mom to three wonder children – two boys and one girl – Aiden, age 13, Kaydence, age 9, and Calder, age 5. I joined Women Warriors so I can learn how to be healthier and live a healthier life … Read more

Profiles that Inspire – May

May is 46 years old, resides in Lloydminster and is a Mom to two sons Kyle 23, and Tyrell 19, and three girls Darby 21, Keara 16, and Alysa 15. She is a Nana to one grandson, Zaidyn 18 months. I joined Women Warriors for me! To build my self-esteem, lose weight and feel good … Read more

Profiles that Inspire – Kelly

Kelly is 32 years old, lives in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, and works full-time as a receptionist at Onion Lake Energy. She has two girls Kali, age 12 and Kaizana, 4. She joined Women Warriors to find that “motivation” to exercise, eat better, and for her family – “just the thought of just living longer for my … Read more

Profiles the Inspire – Natasha

Natasha is 34 years old and resides in Lloydminster. She has two boys ages 8 and 4.5 months. She is currently on maternity leave and works full-time as an educational assistant. I joined Women Warriors because I needed motivation and support and I felt a group setting would be beneficial to me. I enjoy walking … Read more

Profiles the Inspire – Wendy

Wendy is 46 years old and resides in Kitscoty. She has two sons – Chandler, 18 and Spencer, 20. She works full-time as a realtor and spends a lot of time travelling between Kitscoty, Lloydminster and surrounding area. I joined Women Warriors in hopes of being more active and making healthier food choices. I focus … Read more

Profiles the Inspire – Genevieve

Genevieve, or Jenny or Gen to her friends and family is 43 years old and resides in Lloydminster. She has five children, age’s 20, 19, 16 and 11 year old twins, and three grandchildren, 2-year-old twin boys, and 11 months. She is a proud grandma and would do anything for her grandkids. She works full-time … Read more

Profiles the Inspire – Cheryl

Cheryl is 50 years old, resides in Lloydminster, and raised four children– three sons, Warren 25, Shane 24, Jacob 23, and only daughter, Desiree 22. In addition, she’s a happy, blessed Grandmother with granddaughter, Austyn. She joined Women Warriors to get motivated and step outside her comfort zone and build self-esteem. Physical activity in her … Read more

Profiles the Inspire – Ashley

Ashley is 32 years old, resides in Onion Lake Cree Nation, and is a financial clerk for Onion Lake Energy Inc. She is a mother to five – three boys and twin girls, and loves spending time with her family. She joined Women Warriors to have some time to herself and learn how to live … Read more

Profiles That Inspire – Trysta

Trysta is 29 years old and resides in Onion Lake First Nation with her 9 year old son, Kenyan and extended family. Her motivation for joining Women Warriors is to be a good role model for her son, and family which has a history of type II diabetes. She states, “there are too many sick … Read more

Profiles that Inspire – Jolene

Jolene is 40 years old, resides in Onion Lake Cree Nation, and is employed as a truck driver hauling oil since May of 2015. She has three children – two daughters ages 22, and 15, and one son age 14. In addition, she’s a happy, blessed Grandmother with a granddaughter turning 1 this November. She … Read more

Profiles that Inspire – Vera

Vera is 30 years old, resides in Onion Lake Cree Nation, and is employed as a receptionist at Native Justice. She has four beautiful children; 3 boys and 1 girl. She joined Women Warriors because, “I realize whether we know it or not, we are role models to young women, and to our children. As … Read more

Profiles that Inspire – Lillian

Lillian is 46 years of age, and currently resides Lloydminster Alberta and is originally from Witchekan Lake, Saskatchewan. She is a stay-at-home mom to nine children, and has seventeen in total. She joined Women Warriors to “seek information on living with diabetes and healthy lifestyle as diabetes runs in my family for quite some time … Read more