MELISSA PENASHUE

Peer Facilitator

Hailing from the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, She is Courageous. When she first came to the Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities project, her silence spoke volumes. She entered the room very carefully and cautiously maneuvered herself through her first week of Peer Facilitator training. Her will and determination to bring action and change to violence against women came from a place of knowing as she found her voice to speak out. Through her voice has come healing. Melissa has stayed the course and worked through her struggles, emerging as a brave and strong advocate for mental health and violence against women and has risen as a leader in her community. Melissa is a committed friend, and a great listener. She absorbs everything around her and does not react until she is comfortable in her surroundings. She has the voice of an angel. Her drum is a source of strength for her and even when she feels misunderstood, her heart pours out through her song and powerful voice. She is determined, strong and has a deep connection to the land and her traditional ways. Melissa is a role model for her children as she raises the next generation. She takes this role seriously and has committed herself to a life that is full of family strength and connection. She seeks guidance and support from her respected Elders as she continues to push through and walk a good path forward. She is an inspirational story of courage and a true testament to the work that is being done through the project.She is a blessing.

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