THUNDER BAY – You have an unknown person running for Councilor-at-large and I don’t blame you for asking this question. I will attempt to answer this question.
I was born at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Port Arthur (now a part of Thunder Bay) in 1959 (I will do the math for you ~ I recently celebrated my 51st birthday). My mother’s maternal grandparents migrated from England; grandfather worked at the grain elevators, and they lived their whole lives in Thunder Bay. My mother’s paternal grandparents are from the Ottawa Valley; lived their whole lives in Thunder Bay – grandfather was a Boer War veteran, lived and worked at the Armories and the Port Arthur medical center as a gardener/caretaker; he was also a French interpreter at the Court House for many years. My maternal grandfather worked at Abitibi Paper Mill; his brother was the Port Arthur Assessment Commissioner for many years. My mother was born and raised in (Port Arthur) Thunder Bay and worked at the Court house, Shipyards and Assessment Office. AND of course I had many great aunts and uncles and cousins who lived and worked in the area all their lives — I STILL have second cousins in the town.
I am a status member of the Lake Helen First Nation (Nipigon) as is my father (who lives in Sudbury) and my aunty (who lives in Terrace Bay). I have cousins literally across Canada. My grandmother and great-grandmother lived in Nipigon and raised their families there. My father chose to move us out of Thunder Bay when I was quite young to follow work with Ontario Hydro. We started out in a hydro colony in Little Long Rapids (north of Kapuskasing which no longer exists, the only way in or out was by rail), then Thessalon and finally landed in Sudbury in 1967. This is where I spent the rest of my childhood and my early adult years however, I always missed home (Thunder Bay).
The important point here is that my ROOTS are with the Thunder Bay community. After my first child was born in 1981, the drum starting beating in my heart calling me back home! In 1994 (after I graduated from Civil Engineering Technology at Cambrian College in 1993) I moved my 5 children (and my ex-husband) to Thunder Bay. I WAS FINALLY HOME!
The rest is history as they say. I am a single mom to my 5 beautiful, talented children, Cynthia 29 years (now married to Jonathan as of June 26); Robert 26 years; Randall 24 years; Trevor 20 years; and, last but certainly not least is Samantha 17 years. I manage my own business, Cindy Crowe Consulting and am very proud that Cynthia is now my business partner and works side-by-side with me. We assist non-Aboriginal businesses, government and organizations to work with the Aboriginal community (community engagement and cultural sensitivity). I am a lodge keeper of the Waabi-ma’iingan (Grey Wolf) Traditional Teaching Lodge and we recently celebrated our 4th spring ceremony (which means we have come full circle). I consider my skill set to be a ‘bridge’ between the Aboriginal culture and the non-Aboriginal culture and this is my life’s work!
Why am I running for City Council? Well to be perfectly honest, I am following a ‘calling’ I received (in our culture we would refer to it as Spiritual direction). I have been receiving gifts to be a leader and I am doing my best to honour this direction and gifts.
I am committed to bringing jobs to the region. My 3 sons at one time were all living out west trying to pay their bills! I still have one son completing his carpentry apprenticeship out west because it is easier than completing here at home. There is something not right about that. I would like to encourage the Ring of Fire communities (Matawa First Nation communities) to bring their business to the region of Thunder Bay. I believe I have the experience and the skill set to do this (refer to my business website).
I am also committed to do something about minimizing the level of poverty in our region. My family at one time was part of the lineups at the food banks and was turned away by welfare. My children and I were homeless! This is not something that I am very proud of as a mother but certainly I had no control over the circumstances at the time. NO FAMILY should have to live through this. This needs to be part of City Council’s focus! The millions of dollars being spent on the waterfront, city hall, new court house, etc could have put a lot of food on the tables of families and assisted with accessing affordable housing.
Finally, as a traditional Aboriginal woman, I would like to bring some wholistic balance to the City Council (wholistic spelled this way from the direction of my Elders). We need to take care of our community in a wholistic manner, fostering our cultural and spiritual lives as well as ensuring that infrastructure is in place! I would continue to work at developing partnerships between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community such as our Aboriginal Cultural Centre initiative. The mandate of the Grey Wolf Traditional Teaching Lodge is ‘inclusion’ and this is also a priority for me in our community.
Well I hope this helps you to know Cindy Crowe a little better and I would welcome any questions or input. I would also enjoy being invited to your neighbourhood for tea and we could have a discussion about how you see this community moving forward!
You can also find me on Facebook!
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