Former HPSD Student Delivers Powerful Message

Former HPSD Student Delivers Powerful Message
Posted on 03/16/2023
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Linsay Willier-Kendall, a former High Prairie School Division student, visited Prairie River Junior High School on Monday, March 13. Linsay is from Sucker Creek First Nation, on Treaty 8 territory. She was a finalist on Canada's Next Top Model in 2009 and went on to compete in Miss Universe Canada, winning the People's Choice Award. Linsay is an actor, mother of a blended family, and a powerful motivational speaker. Along with her Bachelor's Degree in Child and Youth Care, Linsay's passion is fostering confidence in Indigenous youth and youth suicide prevention.

Linsay has significant life experience in diverse avenues and areas of life. She has learned that there are three primary actions that one can take to achieve happiness and success:

  1. Self-talk

  2. Learning new skills

  3. Movement 

The most important relationship you will have in your life is your relationship with yourself. Therefore, it is essential to live authentically, discover what brings you happiness, and follow your path to your dreams. No one else knows what you need better than you. Self-talk has a huge influence on mental health and the realization of personal goals. Become aware of the words you are telling yourself. Turn those words into messages of encouragement and kindness. Happiness doesn't come from the number of likes on social media, fame, or wealth. We create happiness within ourselves with our words, choices, and actions.

Learning a new skill will boost confidence, self-esteem, and pride. A skill can be as simple as listening actively in class, being a good friend, or getting our learner's license.

Being active and moving your body releases happy hormones and improves your state of mind. There is so much power in movement. What kind of movement makes you happy and speaks to your soul? It could be yoga, walking, badminton, aqua fitness, or dancing. 

Remember these tools when hard times hit, and they will. No one is immune to sadness, loss, and grief. 

Linsay closed by demonstrating some basic powwow dance steps to students, and they practiced a short sequence of steps. She explained that powwow dancing is always done in honour of someone else. It is easy to get caught up in our own worlds, goals and life, and it is good to sometimes step outside of that and do something for someone else. It can be easier to keep going sometimes when you are doing it for someone else. It is good to learn about other cultures and broaden your horizons. This increases empathy and understanding for others. 

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