Kendra Weenie is a Cree woman from Sweetgrass First Nation. She grew up single-parented, on welfare, with minimal opportunity for success. It wasn’t until she became involved in sports, that she developed confidence, work ethic, and a sense of identity. Sports have always been a part of Kendra’s life, from being a college volleyball player, coach, and provincial program coordinator. Sports and culture helped to keep her motivated to complete her Education degree, and heal from past trauma. Kendra is a single mother and survivor of domestic violence. Her daughter was only 8 days old when she was nearly beaten to death by her former partner. After this traumatic experience, she realized that she needed to focus on taking care of herself so that she could heal and be a good role model for her daughter. Kendra now travels the country sharing her story of survival and healing and promotes self care through youth and women's workshops.
Kendra talks about the challenges of growing up in poverty, being single parented, and having an absent father. These were all contributing factors that led to her entering into an abusive relationship. She also talks about how her life changed after giving birth to her daughter Kalayah. Most importantly, she explains how she was able to take control of her life and learn the importance of self love.
Click on the link below to hear about how Kendra was able to survive and move forward from an abusive relationship.
In May, 2018, the province of Saskatchewan released a report referencing Saskatchewan’s domestic violence rates along with recommendations to address the findings. Based on the findings, the Leader Post reported that Saskatchewan has double the national average of domestic violence.
A key finding is that a good first step is raising people’s awareness of domestic violence within intimate relationships how individuals can safely deal with it.
It was also stated that educating kids at a young age can help break the intergenerational cycles of violence.
Kendra was invited into our middle years classrooms to share her own story of domestic violence, a story told with raw emotion and genuine feelings. She shared the hurt, the shame, the desperation but also the power of hope, faith and resilience. She shared very specific strategies that she began to implement into her life to change her path and allow her authentic self to shine through, giving her the courage to live the life she deserved, without violence.
The take away message was one of strength, resilience and hope. Our young people heard that it is never okay. There is a way out. It is never okay.
Kendra’s courage to share her story will inspire, motivate and perhaps change the path for some of the young people who have the opportunity to hear it. It is never okay. She lived the way out.
I have read and shared Kendra's book. I would definitely recommend this book to all young females, from the ages of 10 to 30. Kendra's writing style is easy to read even for a very young female. Let's not forget young girls are starting to think about boys by 10! We can't deny it and we must prepare them for realities. Get them reading and talking about relationships.
Kendra's age makes her relatable for a younger audience. That's sometimes hard for ladies my age or older. I would recommend Kendra to present to grades 6 and up. Her personal life experience and educational background has prepared her for this. This being to provide awareness and teachings to our young people "to recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships" and "make healthy relationship choices."
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Call: (306) 715-9045
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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada