Over the course of two years, Women Warriors has welcomed Lakeland College students in our program. One student, Linda participated in Women Warriors for the full length of her degree starting November 2015 ending April 2017. Intially, Linda was shy and when I approached her about doing a Woman Warrior Wednesday profile she said no. As I learned more about her, a single mom with four children that left her reserve of Loon Lake to pursue her education, the more I was inspired by her perseverance.
The last session she attended, March/April of 2017, I asked Linda to give a speech about her life and graduating from Lakeland as a form of empowerment for the women in our group, and as a way of processing the barriers she had overcome. (I attempted to record it, but the battery on my microphone died and there was no audio). It was a powerful speech about a mom that wanted a better life for her children, and knew that education was the only way.
On May 26th she posted on her facebook page:
What an amazing day!! In 2013 I sat at convocation and seen my classmates receiving their degrees while I got my diploma. My mindset is always “if they can do it I can do it.” Today I reached one of my goals and I truly believe if u set your mind to something you can achieve it. Education is something that no one can ever take from you and education is powerful. I encourage all my friends to set those goals and go after them whatever they may be. Trust me….. if I can do this…you can do it also.
By the end of our time together Linda agreed to do a profile.
Name: Linda Johnson-Morningchild
Do you have children? 4 children; Jayson (20), Janessa (16), Jayvin (9), Jayda (3).
Why you joined Women Warriors: To make new friends and learn more about the facilities in Lloydminster.
Types of physical activity you enjoy: Walking, gym classes and Yoga
Amount of time you exercise everyday or per week: 30 minutes at least everyday
How do you schedule fitness in your day? Go the gym every day or classes in the evening, usually at 7pm. At first I felt selfish for taking the time away from my day to only focus on me, but later realized how very important it is.
Name one daily practice you do to show self-love: Take a moment to be grateful for all the blessings in my life each day.
Your favorite treat or meal: Porkchops…love those porkchops!! Ripple chips get me every time!
Your philosophy on healthy living: One day a person will realize how important their mind, body, spirit and health is and they will begin to take care of them – it takes that person to change and want to better themselves. It is in everyone they just have to find that fire burning inside.
Your daily struggle: Meal planning. I sooo want to do this with my family but as a student its hard. I don’t buy as much junk food as I did before but I do slip every now and then. I want to be consistent and fuel my family with all the healthy and nutritious foods out there.
The advice you would give your younger self: Don’t sweat the small stuff. The people who are there for you in need are the ones who will always be there for you.
Words of inspiration for women trying to get healthy or more active: We all give up, it’s how you pick yourself up and keep going that counts. Doesn’t matter how many times you fall off just keep going and give it your all. Surround yourself with people who are on the same path as you because they will help you to get back on it.
The Women Warriors including Linda, my family, and working with researchers has inspired me to continue my post-secondary education and complete my last year of my Bachelor of Arts; Sociology and Gender & Women Studies. I completed my first week back after a seven-year hiatus, I was side tracked by motherhood, and it has been a struggle. I’m still interviewing for the Women Warriors podcast, organizing the last session of 8 Weeks to Healthy Living starting October 2nd and juggling family responsibilities.
With these factors in mind, the newsletter will be modified to fit my schedule. If my schedule allows it I will write a personal opinion piece, otherwise I will highlight the program and podcast.
I’ve also been inspired by my interview with Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director of CIHR –Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health and the barriers she had to overcome during her academic journey. The full interview will be released on Oct. 2nd on our website, and iTunes.
In the meantime, please listen to the first season’s guests including:
- Stephanie Harpe, Actress & Singer
- Heather Abbey, Founder of ShopIndig & Kiowa Sage Apparel
- Tunchai Redvers, Co-founder of We Matter Campaign
- Devon Fiddler, Chief Changemaker of SheNative Goods Inc.
- Tenille Campbell, Photographer, Blogger, Author & Academic
- Karen Pheasant, Academic, Yoga Instructor & Jingle dress dancer
- Helen Knott, Activist, Writer & Academic
- Deanna Burgart, President, Indigeneer, Indigenous Engineering Inclusion Inc.
- Marcia Mirasty, Owner of Coroner Creek Consulting, Academic
- Caroline Cochrane, Politician/Minister for Government of the Northwest Territories
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for comments, feedback and questions about the 8 Weeks to Healthy Living program and podcasts.
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 20
Time: 7 pm
Location: Lloydminster campus gymnasium
Admission: Free and open to the public
More details available on the facebook event page.
Please subscribe to the Women Warriors newsletter on our website for updates about the program. This weekend I’m looking forward to meeting with our Masters student from the University of Calgary, Megan who will be consulting with Onion Lake Band Council Member, Dolores Pahtayken and former Women Warrior and Elder, Verna Buffalo Calf. Megan is studying food insecurity and informal ways to access food.