I not only have one home town but two; the community of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and the town of Valleyview, Alberta. These two places are about 20 km apart. I live on the reserve of Sturgeon Lake but I have done all my schooling in Valleyview at Oscar Adolphson Primary (K-3), Harry Gray elementary (4-6), and the school I’m currently in Hillside JR/SR High School (7-12).
I have gone to school with many of my fellow class mate to this day from OAP all the way up to HSH. We are a very close school where you know and see everyone on a daily basis. In two more years of schooling I hope to graduate with all the people I’ve gone to school with since Kindergarten.
Valleyview was first established in 1916 but it was originally called Red Willow until realized that the name Red Willow was already used for another settlement. In the 1950’s oil was struck in the area. This caused the increase of population and services. Valleyview has a population of approximately 2000 people. When you grow up in a small town and community you know and remember a lot of the people you meet, whether it be through school or community events, it’s very beneficial on my hope to become Miss Teen Canada- World.
Sturgeon Lake has been around for many years. It was known as a meeting place for people to come and rest, meet new people and trade their goods at the Hudson’s Bay trading post located in Sturgeon. Many generations of my family have been traced back for over 100 years . Many of my ancestors from my mother’s side come from Sturgeon Lake. We are a very close community. You know everyone which makes the unity of the community even stronger aside from shared culture, religion and way of life. Over the years I have become closer to my community and family. My favorite parts about sitting at my grandma’s (kookum) house was listening to her, my grandpa (moosum), and other elders tell stories about the ways things were when they were my age. Some of the stories are rather funny and some where the ones that makes a person think about how privilged we are in today’s society compared to back then. This really made me think about who I really am, and who I’m really set out to be. I had gone to church one day with my kookum (grandma) and one of the other elders came up to me and told me how proud she was of me for representing our community and actually getting out in the world to make a difference. I was amazed on how this opportunity of going to Toronto for the MTC-W pageant has impacted me in the eyes of my community and I realized, I’m not only doing this for me, but for my community.
In Valleyview and sturgeon Lake we don’t have much of a varity of “cool” hang out spots. We don’t have any arcades or anything like that so we all tend to just hang out at our homes or chill in the back yard with friends and have good time. My favorite times are hanging out with my best friends and going down to the river, swimming and just having fun with the good company. Since I live right near the Sturgeon Lake us as a family love to take the boat out and go for a good day of fishing.
The 25th anniversary of our tourist information booth was one of the ones a previously volunteered at. I met tons of new people. It is said that our tourist information booth is the 2nd busiest in Alberta! How awesome is that.