Raechel is a 16-year-old Métis youth of Dumont lineage (Isadore Dumont, Duck Lake, SK). Raechel graduated from Awahsuk Aboriginal Head Start preschool program in 2006, the program focused on school readiness, social responsibility, health promotion, nutrition, a cultural identity which fostered a sense of pride in the children that attended. Raechel seemed to understand very early on the importance of her culture and becoming a healthy Métis youth and has been actively supporting her community.
Although Raechel graduated from Awahsuk over a decade ago, Raechel has volunteered over 150+ hours at Awahsuk AHS Preschool. Awahsuk AHS is the only provincially licensed Aboriginal focused preschool program in Surrey, B.C. Raechel is identified in her community as a positive role model. The elders, families, staff, and funders are inspired by the fact that Raechel was an Aboriginal Head Start graduate. It provides inspiration and encouragement. Our community is very proud of Raechel and the exceptional mentor she has become. She assists the staff with classroom set up, concentrating on culture and identity. She reads to the children encouraging early literacy amongst the children.
Raechel has been deeply committed to and involved in sharing cultural knowledge to a broader audience in her high school. Raechel worked tirelessly to plan, organize and implement a drum making workshop, which also included key teachings of drum protocol. Raechel’s efforts had an excellent impact on her school and the participants. Her ability to sharing knowledge and culture is noteworthy.
Raechel leads a very healthy lifestyle, spending many months out of the year connecting with nature and taking care of Mother Earth. Raechel is very connected to the land and participates in swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, and rockhounding.
After Head Start, Raechel attended a fine arts program at David Branklin which enhanced and nurtured her artistic talents. Raechel is passionate about music and playing guitar. She is currently working on the creation of an art showcase, with oil painting, soapstone carving, and a charcoal drawing which will encompass the emotional and spiritual damage of residential school and the resiliency of our people. Raechel seems to have a natural ability that promotes a positive Aboriginal view that adopts strength-based approach.
She is well-loved Métis youth, giving back to her community in so many ways and it's heartwarming and healing for all that have the opportunity to know her. She is more than deserving of this recognition and proof that when you show a child where they came from a sense of pride –the sky is the limit for growth, goals and giving back to the community.