Alice was among the first wave of Aboriginal Canadians to get a degree. Having grown up in a family atmosphere of violence, it was no coincidence she chose social work as her specialty. When her husband abandoned her with three small girls to raise, she was juggling single parenthood and a full-time job as a treatment manager at an abuse centre.
Despite her busy schedule, Alice had dreams of working in the arts and running her own business. She found the support to help her realize her goals through a women’s business accelerator program in Thunder Bay, funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
The business accelerator program provides women with the tools and support to launch and grow their own small business ventures. The program gave her the confidence to take a break from her career as a social worker and develop Beedaubin (meaning Rising of the Sun) Arts Collaborative for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth and elders. “They helped me be a risk-taker”, she says. As artistic director of Beedaubin, Alice find the funds, gets grants and uses the arts as a tool to bring people together.
” What are her goals for the future? At 45, there are no limits for Alice. She’d like to get a doctorate in social work, the arts or community development. “I feel I am only at the cusp of what I can do” she says.