My UFCW webCampus Education Experience: A Member Update by Angela Fiddler

Read this article in Cree language

#1 Introduction

Tansi! (Hello in Cree language)

Let me introduce myself. I am Angela Fiddler. I’ve been a member of UFCW Local 401 for 5 years. I’ve been working as a housekeeper at Wapasu Creek Lodge since October 2010. I have had a lot of years to think about my job, union, and the future.

I come from the Waterhen Lake First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. Living on and off reserve, and being a single mother of 6 children on welfare, took a toll on my family and me. I have faced many struggles in my lifetime. By the time I was hired at Wapasu Creek, and became unionized with Local 401, I was ready for change.

Once the opportunity arose for employment, I was able to pay my bills, feed my 6 children, and break my family free from the destructive poverty that many First Nations live in. While working at Wapasu, I have had the opportunity to experience different work roles and learn new skills; my time working with Civeo is just one example of this. Not only was a financial barrier broken, I began to be more physically fit, spiritually awakened, and emotionally stronger. And now, here I am.

Let me tell you, making positive changes in your life takes an honest effort and doesn’t come overnight. I have worked hard on changes within myself as well as those improvements I’ve made at the workplace. It’s an on going process and a continuous cycle that produces positive results in the end.

This is where education has its place. Without education, we cannot make positive changes as effectively as we would like to in our lives. Education is a buffalo to my People and this means education will be everything for us: our rock, and our way to break through barriers. By learning new ideas and skills, you are becoming an educated person. With this education, you are able to make beneficial changes for yourself, your family, and your community.

The Elders and Leaders of my People say now is the time. This is our time, and time for Indigenous Peoples to rise up within society. I want to be a warrior in the labour movement, and continue to push doors open for my People so we can all eventually break free from the residential school cycle and poverty my people face today in Canada.

I know education is the key and that is why I am happy my union offers online education courses that I can take before or after work hours. This online training, known as webCampus, is offered by UFCW Canada and is free of charge for all UFCW Canada members, their family, and friends. I am currently enrolled in webCampus courses and I plan to update my job and life skills with this education. In the future, I am looking forward to taking even more online courses offered and supported by our union in order to obtain a Certificate from UFCW Canada as a Human Rights Advocate.

A mother of 6, Co-Chair of the Wapasu First Nation, and a Metis & Inuit Committee member at the camp, it will take some time management and commitment from me to achieve this growth in my education, and I am willing to make that commitment. Our union cares about us and encourages us to better ourselves. It takes you and me to take that step. If I can do it, you can also.

Looking forward to a successful 2016!

Ekosi! (The end or that’s all in Cree language)

Angela Fiddler

 

UFCW Canada members & members of their family can register for webCampus online here or by calling toll-free 1.866.865.0202 where webCampus staff is available to help members through the online registration process step-by-step. More information on webCampus is also available by emailing webCampusadmin@ufcw.ca.