Samara's Everyday Political Citizen Stories

EPCitizen Stories


EPC Stories

Samara's Everyday Political Citizen is an annual contest that profiles ordinary people who make their communities better and Canada's democracy stronger, with over 1,200 Canadians nominated since 2013.

Now, speaking on camera, Everyday Political Citizens from across the country tell their stories more vividly than ever before. Watch them open up about their experiences, motivations, and insights, and learn how they overcame adversity to achieve positive change for their communities.

These are Samara's Everyday Political Citizen stories.

 

Lorelei

Lorelei created the dance group Butterflies in Spirit to raise awareness about her aunt Belinda Williams, who went missing in 1978, and her cousin Tanya Holyk, who was a victim of serial killer Robert Pickton in 1996. Her use of art and community engagement has allowed her to empower family members of other missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Through their performances in Canada and abroad, the group “started raising awareness together, dancing together, healing together.” 

Read Lorelei's nomination.





 
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Noah

After losing his mother to suicide and his father to mental health issues at the age of 15, Noah decided to write a letter to all 336 sitting Members of Parliament about the lack of adequate mental health services in Canada. When only 40 responded, he began calling MPs’ constituency offices from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Soon, he had federal cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister contacting him. “Ordinary citizens actually doing something to use their democratic rights is one of the most important things” the high school student has learned during this journey.

Read Noah's nomination.


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Mary Beth

Mary Beth was just 45 years old when she was told she had probable frontotemporal dementia. Her driver’s licence was immediately revoked and she was advised to get her affairs in order. Instead of becoming discouraged, she started the Ontario Dementia Advisory Group to advocate for the rights of others affected by dementia. She believes that if “we don’t have that voice for ourselves, then politicians continue to make decisions without our input.” The group has begun working with the federal government on a Canadian Dementia Strategy development plan.

Read Mary Beth's nomination.


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Janelle

Janelle is devoted to increasing youth civic engagement and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in underrepresented communities. As the founder of Helping Hands, she connects youth to volunteer placements while providing skill-building opportunities for their careers. Janelle believes we need “advocates to either make change on the ground, or to convince politicians to actually make the change.” She recently testified to the Status of Women Committee about women in non-traditional fields and the importance of mental health support for the black community.

Read Janelle's nomination.


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Brenda


“I want the Sanctuary to be a conduit for healing for people, because it’s only by working through people that we’ll affect change.”

Read Brenda's nomination.




Joseph


“We are the source of the power. We’ve just got to take initiative, speak out, and be vocal.”

Read Joseph's nomination.

 




Zeinab


“People just need support around them, so they can engage in the community, engage with people, and make a difference.”


Read Zeinab's nomination.




Teagyn

“What motivates me to do the work that I do is seeing how someone’s perspective changes once they participate in a blanket exercise."

Read Teagyn's nomination.




Yvonne

“I think it’s important for people to take action because every day is political.”

Read Yvonne's nomination.




Inspire more Canadians to engage in our democracy by sharing these stories on Twitter and Facebook!

   



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This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Canadian community foundations, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.



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