Hello Ladies, My Name is Janelle Niles.
I first attended the wok readiness course (AWIM) Aboriginal Women in Mining in October 2013. In April of that year I left my home in Yellowknife to pursue my educational needs in Ottawa but my plans fell through by June. I thought I still lived up North with my common law husband but that also failed and I was left in Ottawa, abandoned, with little hope of returning to or living my old life. I stayed with my twin sister, who was my support, at the time and she helped me through my depression and gave me basic needs until I could get myself on my feet. I was so eager to move back home to Yellowknife NWT that I started asking all my friends to let me stay with them. One friend, however, insisted that I do not go back to YK. Instead she (friend from YK) told me about a course that could give me the chance at a career. Her name is Mira Hall and she is the niece of a very special person at AWIM, Arlene Hache.
After I said yes to joining the program, I was contacted by the coordinators at (AWIM) to sign some paperwork and take the next step of moving to Kirkland Lake for the duration of the course. I was ready to try anything due to my situation, and I knew I needed to obtain the experience to become a career woman. When I took the 9 hour bus ride to Kirkland Lake, I knew I was not going home empty handed. I was devoted to this program and even though I did not know much about it at first I was strong and willing.
I can tell you that we all have different perspectives about the program. Some find it slow and others find it fascinating.
I was dead set on becoming a Security Guard. I want to become an RCMP officer one day as a Native advocate for our communities and shine some light on various issues that have plagued us all. The great thing about Aboriginal Women in Mining is any goal and any dream can be thought out, talked about and set in motion. It is much more than a mining job, it is a pathway to a worth while career.
As of June 16th 2014, I am now a fully licensed Security Guard at Toersa Security Inc. here in Ottawa. I Graduated from the program, I completed my training and testing and I let them help me all the way through.
A little support can go a long way and we all need a little nudge to get us on our path.
I want to thank Anne Commando-Dube, Anne Batisse, Brenda Batisse, Samantha Batisse, Arlene Hache and, of course, Kelly Lamontagne for all their hard work and perseverance that made me who I am today.
It does not matter where you are from or what you are limited to , we all can become something bigger and better than who we once were.