My name is Adelaide, but most call me Addie. I’m from the WSANEC territory on the Tsartlip reserve. I’ve spent my entire life growing up on the reservation. Growing up on the rez comes with its pros and cons. The downside is growing up around poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and losing community members who just lost hope in times of struggle. This happens all to often on reservations. I believe as well as many others that residential schools have greatly impacted us through generations. As I grew older I began to become more aware of my surroundings. I came to the realization that what was occurring was much different than what my friends who lived off reserve experienced in their neighbourhoods. I felt change is what we needed and I so badly wanted to be a part of that change. I know my people are strong. I know the power within us was when we stand together as a community. I’ve experienced this power in protests, community gatherings and family events. Having that sense of belonging and strength is the beautiful part of living there, and it isn’t something you can’t put a price tag on. I want to be part of something positive for us, so I started to get in touch with my culture and tradition. I also attended community meetings and community cooking classes. I went to gardening workshops and plant walks. One day on a plant walk I was introduced to Rebecca who mentioned Project Respect to me. I instantly felt excitement by the idea of being involved in such an empowering program. So here I am ready to share my ideas and thoughts with people who are truly dedicated to making a difference, just as I am. This summer will be an uplifting learning experience for me. I just can’t wait, because it’s only the beginning .