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Stephanie Wesley

Stephanie Wesley

Thunder Bay, ON
Lac Seul, First Nation

“....sometimes you do have to tell stories that might be a little bit controversial, that people might not like to hear because they’re uncomfortable. To be able to have it down on paper, something that I created, that meant a lot to me, actually won an award for something. So to get first place was quite unbelievable and I’m so thankful for that opportunity….”

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My name is Stephanie Wesley, I wrote the short story, Jonas, and I won first place in the 2012 Aboriginal Arts and Stories contest.

The year that I won, the story that I wanted to tell actually happened in my city. I was inspired by the students who come to Thunder Bay from up north for school because there are no other options for them. I was kind of hesitant to write stories before. I’ve never really shared them with people. And the fact that this story, that actually meant so much to me when I wrote it, because it was something that was taking place in my community, and it still is taking place, it’s kind of validation that what’s happening there is actually important and other people care, and other people actually really enjoyed the story. They love to read about it. I think it kind of gives life to those issues.

I learned that sometimes you do have to take chances, sometimes you do have to tell stories that might be a little bit controversial, that people might not like to hear because they’re uncomfortable. To be able to have it down on paper, something that I created, that meant a lot to me, actually won an award for something. So to get first place was quite unbelievable and I’m so thankful for that opportunity, and I’m so glad that I decided to write this story.

When I was a teenager growing up in Thunder Bay, I never thought I would be here, like I never thought I would be doing what I’m doing now, which is something I always wanted to do, so it’s really important to follow your dreams. It’s also important to help others as much as you can.

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