LETHBRIDGE - An inspirational trip to Ottawa is one Tiana Weasel Moccasin says she won't soon forget.
Weasel Moccasin graduated from Kainai High School in Cardston, and is currently enrolled in her first year of the early childhood education program at Lethbridge College.
She explained that she was applying to different schools and scholarships during her graduating year, when her mom came across an opportunity to join a national initiative called Daughters of the Vote.
"I had to write about three issues that I would talk about. So, I put the fentanyl crisis, education and missing and murdered Aboriginal women... In December, that's when I found out that I got picked."
Equal Voice, a national, bi-lingual, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office, played a role in bringing the Daughters of the Vote initiative to fruition. The goal was to equip and inspire young women to participate in politics.
From March 5 to 10, Weasel Moccasin was among 337 other women, between the ages of 18 and 23, who traveled to Ottawa from all across Canada.
She says the delegates met with the Assembly of First Nations, where they asked questions about conquering all sorts of issues. Weasel Moccasin says she was able to speak about her belief on reforming the education system to include better cultural representation, as well as the continuing struggle of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
"It was really empowering. Sometimes I felt ashamed to be native and a girl, and I felt like my voice didn't matter. But after going there, I don't feel like that anymore," she noted with a smile.
"I'll compare it to going to a sun dance for me. When I go to a sun dance, I feel really connected to the Creator even more and I feel really loved and empowered... There were so many young women that had a lot of good morals, and had lots of values and issues that they wanted to talk about. It was nice hearing from different perspectives."
Weasel Moccasin says she has applied to the University of Lethbridge in hopes of entering native american studies and political science. Her ultimate goal now is to eventually get in to law school and become a strong voice for those who face injustice.
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