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January - 2009
Windspeaker: What one quality do you most value in a friend?
Jennie Williams: A great friend is someone who will always be there for you even when they physically can’t. It’s a person who you can act your absolute true self around.
W: What is it that really makes you mad?
J.W.: I get upset when people use stereotypes in their every day lives and have no respect for the values and beliefs in other cultures but their own. People need to have an open mind and have respect for all people no matter who they are and where they come from.
W: When are you at your happiest?
J.W.: When I am speaking to a person or a group of people and I can tell by their response that I am making a positive impact on their lives by talking about the things I believe in and think are important in life.
W: What one word best describes you when you are at your worst?
W: What one person do you most admire and why?
J.W.: It is not specifically one person I admire; it is the women I meet who overcome adversity and many obstacles in their lives and always stay strong and committed to staying positive no matter what comes their way.
W: What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do?
J.W.: Live on my own at a very young age. I had to learn things quick. I had to grow up a lot quicker than people the same age as me at the time and sometimes it was not easy.
W: What is your greatest accomplishment?
J.W.: My greatest accomplishment so far would be receiving my award this year from the Governor General in Ottawa for being chosen as a National Aboriginal Role Model for 2008.
W: What one goal remains out of reach?
J.W.: My goal is to travel the world. This year I had the opportunity to travel to many places across Canada and also to Mexico and Guatemala. There are so many more places I want to go and I look forward to the many adventures in travelling that are to come.
W: If you couldn’t do what you’re doing today, what would you be doing?
J.W.: I would like to be sailing through the mountains of Northern Labrador.
W: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
J.W.: Always listen to and remember advice you receive from your Elders.
W: Did you take it?
J.W.: I try my best every day of my life.
W: How do you hope to be remembered?
J.W.: I hope to be remembered as someone who has made a positive impact on people’s lives. I hope to be remembered for my kindness, respect and commitment to keeping our culture alive for future generations with all that I can give.
Jennie Williams was born and raised in Labrador. She is currently residing in Nain, Nunatsiavut. She is an Inuit visual and performing artist committed to keeping her heritage and culture alive through the arts. She has traveled many times across Canada to perform and also to Mexico and Guatemala.
She uses different mediums to depict the traditional Inuit way of life including drum-dancing, throat-singing, painting, photography and traditional crafts; she also coordinates workshops to teach others.
Williams received the 2008 National Aboriginal Role Model Award from the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) for her achievements.
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