“YOU WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING” ……. These are such powerful words that can affect each of us in many ways. Personally, when I sit back and actually think about it; I become infuriated and question, who in their right mind would ever say this to a young child. I recall in Grade School, my teacher said these precise words to me. Today, I question was it my round belly, my big cheeks, the clothing I wore or was it the black hair, the brown eyes or simply because I had dark brown skin? I will never know, nor care to venture in the past but what I do know, is those words had a profound impact on me. Most likely, many would suppose this would impact me negatively however these words did the opposite.
NOW, I was faced with a decision to forge ahead or to surrender to the echo of what I thought “I was a nobody”. Filled with rage, anger, doubt and frustration I was determined to show them wrong. These words actually drove me to succeed.
Ultimately; regardless of what others suggest, assume or think we must find the fire within and move ahead. Determination, hard work, perseverance, motivation are all key qualities that sustain me.
My name is Ann M Seymour; I am Ojibwa, married and a proud mother of four children. I am a member of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Ontario and I moved to BC with my family in 2008. In the past, I held various Social Services positions including Child Welfare (Forensics), Tele-health Coordinator, Correctional Services, and In-patient Psychiatry and most recently worked as the Renal Peritoneal Dialysis Social Worker at Royal Columbia Hospital.
In 2009 I graduated from the University of British Columbia; Aboriginal Health Community Administration Program. I obtained my Masters in Social Work at Mc Gill University as well a past graduate of Carleton University (Bachelor of Social Work) and Lake Superior State University (Bachelor of Science; Human Services; Psychology and Counselling). I attended Sault College in the Native Social Services.
In the interest of keeping informed and up to date it always important to be aware of the latest news; therefore I choose to become involved. I am a member of the Canadian Nephrology of Social Workers, Social Workers in Healthcare Society of BC, Social Work Professional Practice Council of Fraser Health Authority. I volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society, and I am a Peer Reviewer for Rural & Remote Health Journal.
Today, I am Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers and work at Fraser Health Authority as an Aboriginal Health Liaison Social Worker. In my role; I predominately act as a Liaison to ensure Aboriginal People are addressed with respect, received the necessary health care services and to assist with any healthcare /medical enquires. I work both with the acute setting (hospitals) and the community. Ultimately; I pride my work on the ability to ensure cultural safety for our People.
I enjoy spending time with family, camping, running and being healthy and well. I am passionate about working with our people and ensuring we have a voice, to be heard and to walk on our journey one step at a time.
My departing message: Never give up. No matter what anyone says? As I say to my kids:
“STAND TALL, SHOULDERS BACK and WALK PROUD YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT!”