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Look out world, here we come!

RoseRose is a native of Winnipeg and has worked at the Winnipeg Tax Centre for five years. She is married and is currently planning on a building a home on the outskirts of Winnipeg with her husband. Stacey has recently married and has three wonderful children. She and her husband have moved into a large home in Transcona. She has also worked at the Winnipeg Tax Centre for five years.

Rose says:

I started working at the age of 13, as a chambermaid in a local hotel. After that came a stint in the school cafeteria, a fast food restaurant and a nursing home. While I worked at the nursing home, I started working for home care. I was employed with Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for 9 1/2 years - during that time, I also held second and third jobs. I was a waitress, a graveyard-shift worker in a donut shop, a cashier in a major chain store, a telemarketer and last but not least, I was a university student.

I worked my way through university, paying as I went. It took five years, but I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1994. I am a Métis. I used this once, to my advantage in University when I applied for a bursary and received it. At no other point did I use my Métis status for any help.

It was a struggle in University. I moved out with a friend when I was 19 and in my second year. I had two jobs for the majority of the time, rent to pay, school to pay for, a car payment and all the other necessities in life. A good portion of the time, I had very little money for food or any extras. My parents were fabulous, as was my roommate. I persevered and finally graduated.

After graduation, I still held two or three jobs. I had a choice to make: continue my education or buy a home. I bought a condo. I continued working hard and eventually took a correspondence course for a Legal Assistant, which I passed with Honours.

More years went by, I met my wonderful husband and he moved in in 1996. Approximately a year later, I heard through my cousin (who works at Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) that they were holding an external competition for Aboriginals at the Tax Centre. I wrote the test, passed the interview and became a term CR04 (Clerical and Regulatory Group). Six months after I started, I was seriously injured in a car accident and was off work for 5 months. When I came back, I still had a couple of broken bones, but didn't feel I could turn down my call back.

Since then, I was made a permanent CR04 and acting PM01 (Program Administration Group) and finally a permanent PM01 in the area I currently work in. I love my job. My co-workers are great and I've made many friends. I am an active member in the CANE committee (Committee for the Awareness of Native Employees), I write articles for our division newsletter and I volunteer for the United Way drive and the Children's Hospital fundraisers.

If you had asked me 6 years ago if I thought I would be working in an office, I would have laughed. Now, I have my sights set on management. I'm still young and have a lot to learn, but I'm stubborn and will persevere until I get what I want.

Stacey says:
I started working at the age of 13 in a local restaurant in rural Manitoba. After that I worked as a gas station attendant and as a waitress/cook in a local chain store.

After graduating from high school I had my first child at the age of 19. I proceeded to work at the local Woolco as a waitress/cook and in the Ladies dept.

Realizing that I wasn't making enough money, I went to college. I completed a Business Management course, which I mostly completed on my own as it was a new school and they were short on teachers. I graduated with Honours. During this time I was on partial assistance and working anywhere I could and also raising a child. My time in college was tough and it was also a time when I met my first husband and got pregnant with my second child.

The marriage didn't last and I found myself alone with two children and no money. I started work at the local Casino working long hours as a credit runner and still not making enough money to support us. I had to visit food banks, second hand stores and rely a lot on family and friends. Realizing this was hard on myself and my kids, I knew things had to change.

I am a non-status Indian. I have never used my nationality for anything and was unsure if I should. I was told about some organizations and other groups that would help, but didn't know if I should try. That was when I found out about Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA). They were holding a competition for Aboriginals and I thought why not, it couldn't hurt. So the story begins from there.

Being a single mom in desperate need of a job I took my chance. It's a good thing I did. I made it through the competition and was on my way to being a CCRA employee. I walked through the door as a term CR04. Three years later, I became a perm PM01.

Being in this job was not easy. I had never experienced racism before and was getting a lot of it here. I was very taken aback that grown adults could treat me this way. I later found out that it wasn't me personally they were angry with, it was the thought that we had received our jobs as a hand out. Everyone later realized we had to work and compete just like they did.

During my time here I have joined the CANE committee, volunteered for the United Way, Children's Charities and various other committees. I have come to love my job as well as the people I work with and feel that I have become a role model for my kids.

Much like Rose, if you had asked me 6 years ago where I thought I would have been. I probably would have said, "Lost in the system on welfare with no hope." I now know that if you set your mind to something you can achieve it. So look out world here I come and I'm not going back!!

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