Monika Wilson, lawyer

Monika Wilson of the Fort McKay First Nation left home to pursue an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies, and ended up with a law degree from the University of British Columbia.

She said First Nations communities celebrate the women who take on leadership positions, and work hard to lift up other women. We are just going to see more and more of that in the future, she added

Women have to learn to create balance in their lives to counter the time they spend away from family and friends, she said.

“Maybe you’re working a little bit more on one day. That means that another day you take some time for yourself… You’re always striving to find that balance.”

Time is the biggest sacrifice, but it’s worthwhile to spend it when you’re working towards a goal.

The future for Indigenous communities is dependent on self determination—political, legal, economic, educational factors in our communities. That means every community living with dignity in the way that they choose that’s culturally appropriate for them.