children suffered, but they ate
is a Community Health Representative (CHR) in the Ebb and
Flow First Nation community where she lives. In May 2001 Alice
was honoured for her work when she won the Manitoba Association
of Registered Nurses Community Caring Award. Besides caring
for her community Alice has been active in organizing Community
Health Representatives to demand fair pay. In July 2001 Alice
went to Vancouver to accept another award, this time from
the National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representatives
Organization. Alice is 62 years old and has seven children
and more than 20 grandchildren.
knew is that my children were hungry before I started work.
That was my main thing, just to put food on the table for
my children so my children ate good after that...I love
them and neglected a lot of them because I had to work...they
suffered a lot because I had to leave...we had refresher courses
and all of that so I went and I left them again...my baby
Leah, she's a big baby now, she's 33, she wasn't a year when
I started work...I've got a picture of her someplace four
years old frying her own egg...
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have to cook for the children and all that before they leave,
that's what they don't understand, hopefully they will before
I quit...I told them already I don't think they know how
much a woman has to do, even a simple thing as going someplace...
As a community
aid I worked 24 hours a day for $70 a month... Every
time when a job had to be done on the reserve 'Ah yes, the
CHRs will do it'...we were gophers, it doesn't matter what
it is...everything, the CHRs will do it...
I'd get up and
go to the people...somebody with a nosebleed it wouldn't
stop, I'd go over and teach them...in them days...not too
many phones around...I'd go to Bingo...during intermission
time I'd run, tell the people that they have an appointment,
your baby needs a needle...
There used to
be a lot of sniffing. The sniffers would be out someplace,
like outside the house unconscious, they would call me...what
I used to do was...take pictures of them, the vomit, wetting
their pants...and after they were ok...I would show them[the
pictures]. I don't know if that's what stopped them...I'm
not saying I stopped it but that must have helped some...
My motto is do
a good deed for somebody once a day...my work is
not good deeds but outside because I'm getting paid for
it, that's how I see it, something you do, not get paid
Was it last year
that I got the special dinner? Nobody's ever said anything
before...all of a sudden there was this special dinner...the
past year I heard a lot of thank yous...this old man...every
time I'd leave he'd say, "Alice, Thank you, Megwetch"
and that's strange and very nice to hear...I was surprised
and I felt so good...
I can't explain
but I know that still here...or other places too in the
reserves, I find that the men are more powerful, we don't
have as much power as they have, we're not equal.