Read the testimonies from some of our past Role Models. This will give you an idea of their experiences and what they got out of being with the program.
2009 / 2010
My experience has been amazing! Everything from being notified that I’ve been chosen to represent the program, to becoming an alumni of the program. I get so excited to be able to say “yes” to a community request and even more excited as I fulfill my role as a National Aboriginal Role Model.
It’s impacted me most at my work than anywhere else. I work with children effected by family violence, their barriers are up from the day they walk into my work, but as soon as they see my poster on the wall and they realize that it’s me, they begin to trust me more. Even more so when they read the bio on the poster. So the poster really helps to break down the walls of family violence!
Thus far, my most memorable experience, well, there are three, is when I was able to take part in the cultural celebrations in New Ayansh and the Nisga’a people – for them to be so welcoming and allowing me to be a part of their culture was amazing. The second memorable event for me was standing on James Bay. Despite the biting cold, I had a blast on the skidoo ride!
My most memorable visit was to War Lake First Nations. Not for the visit itself, but for the chance I had to meet the late Chantelle Chornoby. I was amazed at her strength and her humility, in spite of being in a hospital for the three months prior. She embraced me like I was her long lost brother. I love you Chantelle.
Damian Abrahams, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
My experience was great. It was great because it gave me the opportunity to meet many amazing youth. It inspired me to continue being a role model. NARMP has impacted me in a positive way by showing me that being a role model can impact other youths life in a positive way.
My most memorable experience with NARMP was during the week of my NARMP training. During that week I had the opportunity to get to know the role models in my year. My most memorable visit was when I spoke to youth at a career fair in Kirkland Lake. It was memorable because members from my community were there and I got to present with another role model Candace Polson.
Amber Asp-Chief, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
Being part of the NARMP is amazing. The experience I received was fulfilling and very worth while. The NARMP staff are the head of the program and it would not be possible without them. NARMP is something that creates long lasting friends and an opportunity for myself as an individual to grow on many levels. Visiting different places in Canada provided me with a better appreciation of Aboriginal groups in Canada and how each group is expressing their culture and tradition.
The NARMP allowed me to share my stories, but more importantly it allowed me to hear other stories. These stories and the opportunity to visit their community is something I will take with me for a lifetime. It allowed me to find myself and reaffirm my values as a youth and as Métis. I have been touched by hundreds of youth across the country who took the time to share their stories. Some were happy and some were somber, but each of them shared the same mission of hope and determination. That is incredible and reassures me that our Aboriginal culture and traditions will remain and grow.
In addition to this, the youth inspired me on educational and career aspirations. My statement was resonated from each and everyone of them, “if we knew what was going to happen we would not try, instead it’s the uncertainty that motivates us all!”
Johnathon Earle, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
My overall experience was unforgettable. There is no downside to this program, only positive experiences, new knowledge and skills gained. As last years role model, I was proud and honoured to travel to different communities inspiring youth.
As a child, I was always nervous to speak in front of people but after this program, I have gained confidence in myself. I am no longer scared to speak in front of people. I have also gained a new and better perspective on life because I realized how privileged I am, and the importance of helping others.
I remember seeing an old woman riding a snowmobile picking up children and dropping them off at school. I really understood what community is just by seeing people do things for each other.
I went up to northern Quebec and ate my first piece of beluga whale. It was cold, blubbery and bloody. The people in the community were caring, generous and very friendly. The youth were inquisitive, respectful and inspirational.
Asivak Koostachin, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
I was very humbled by being selected as a role model, my experience has given me a better understanding of how much positive role models are needed in our Aboriginal communities. Traveling and being given the chance to meet and talk to people about the program was a very exciting journey that I’m grateful to have been a part of.
NARMP has given me more strength and courage to be a good person, and the want to do the best I can all the time because I realize people look up to me and need good role models.
My most memorable experience with NARMP was the award ceremony, having my family there watching me accept the honor of being a National Aboriginal Role Model made me so proud. I could feel the pride my parents had in me at that time, and it fuels my hope to always make them proud with everything that I do.
Charlotte Qamaniq, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
The experiences that I have with travelling, youth, meeting new people and being a National Aboriginal Role Model is unimaginable. I now tell everyone that I know, to nominate someone deserving of this recognition and opportunity. However, I would like more individuals to be aware of this program as many Aboriginal people I met, had no idea what the NARMP is and who these 12 youth are.
Being part of this program was more than what I expected, I never thought the NARMP could have given me so much and allowed me to grow as an individual in addition to volunteering and helping out at various events. The NARMP definitely aided in the development of me becoming a better person and I am very grateful for that.
Choosing the 12 new NARMP role models was a great experience because I seen how many youth who are deserving of this opportunity and what NAHO deals with on a regular basis keeping this program in tact and successful. I enjoyed working with other 2009-10 role models in choosing these individuals because I do not see them regularly and probably will have few opportunities to in years to come.
Alicia Sayers, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
I’ve had a great experience being a part of the role model program. I got to meet a lot of new people from across Canada and learn from the other role models what challenges and successes they face in their communities. It has heightened my awareness that we all really are role models and how we behave is very important because there is maybe somebody that is looking up to you. By being good examples, this inspires other people to strive for the best in what they do as well.
My trip to Coast Tsimshian Academy for sure was my most memorable visit. I travelled across so many means of transportation (car, plane, bus, taxi, float plane) in one day that looking back it was amazing I didn’t get lost. The info sheet I got from the NARMP staff was great and kept me on track. But once I got there, it was really great to hang out with the staff and students and I do hope to go back there one day.
Jeff Ward, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model
My experience being part of NARMP has been nothing short of amazing. This is an integral program to advance Aboriginal youth leadership across Canada and something every community should have access to. To know that this is a peer-nominated program by Aboriginal youth, for Aboriginal youth means so much.
NARMP has impacted me in an incredible amount of ways. From giving me many opportunities to meet incredible youth and communities across the country, to witnessing first-hand what the program really means in places that truly value their youth. I will never forget the people, places, and things that I’ve seen.
Jessica Yee, 2009-10 National Aboriginal Role Model