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Tffany Simon, formerly known as Tiffany Perry, is a 37-year-old woman with a diverse background. Born Cree and Blackfoot on her mother’s side and English on her father’s side, Tiffany’s life has been marked by various challenges and barriers. However, through her journey of self-discovery and healing, she has emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration for her community.

Barriers & challenges

Tiffany’s childhood was far from easy. At the age of two, she was apprehended by children’s services and later adopted into a white family at the age of six. Unfortunately, her adoptive family kept her far away from her culture and spirituality, leaving her feeling lost and alone. Despite these hardships, Tiffany found solace in her connection with the Creator, who remained a constant source of truth in her chaotic and turbulent life.

As she grew older, Tiffany faced numerous barriers as an indigenous woman. Not knowing her culture and being raised in a white family, she often struggled with her identity. Despite not encountering many external barriers, Tiffany came to realize that the biggest obstacle she faced was herself.

The intergenerational trauma caused by colonization had deeply impacted her life, Including being removed from family and therefore also her culture by several generations. This realization prompted Tiffany to embark on a journey of healing and self-discovery.

A Model of Indigenous Self-Empowerment

Tiffany’s vision of success goes beyond personal achievements. For her, success means being able to help heal her community and bring about positive change in the way indigenous populations are approached and supported. She believes in promoting healing through generations so that future generations can live happier and healthier lives.

Tiffany’s Journey at the Sage Program

It was during a time of unraveling in her life that Tiffany discovered the Sage program at the Elizabeth Fry Society. After struggling with addiction and experiencing homelessness, Tiffany’s son was placed in kinship care for six months. Determined to address the root causes of her addiction, being that deep soul wound left by being without cultural identity and spiritual connections, Tiffany found solace and support at Sage. The program provided her with a safe and attainable path to healing, allowing her to access cultural resources, ask important culturally based lifelong questions, and connect with people who have profoundly influenced her perspective on herself and the world.

When reflecting on her experience at Sage, Tiffany’s favorite part was learning to love aspects of herself that she had previously been taught to bury. Through the program, she found understanding and connection to her people’s history, the true history of Canada that was long manipulated, how this has affected the newer generations and their ability to live life in a productive manner. This newfound knowledge gave her a sense of purpose and empowerment.

Sage has not only facilitated Tiffany’s personal growth but has also equipped her with valuable skills and talents. The program empowered her to stand confidently in her power as a female and as an indigenous person. Tiffany now sees herself as a force for positive change and is determined to use her newfound skills to uplift others.

Mentorship & Sisterhood

Throughout her journey, Tiffany has been fortunate to have a mentor named Sarah Russell, the program coordinator of the Sage program.

Sarah’s love and ability to see the world with clarity and wisdom have inspired Tiffany to embrace her true identity and be proud of where she comes from. Sarah’s dedication to unveiling the truth and educating others has shown Tiffany that she too can make a difference.

A Trailblazer in the Making

Looking ahead, Tiffany’s future goals are centered around further education and community development. She plans to pursue Addiction Studies at Bow Valley College starting in September of 2024. Her ultimate goal is to open a Center for Indigenous parents, offering culturally-based drug and alcohol treatment, traditional parenting models, school and work programs, and other resources tailored to indigenous parents facing homelessness and social barriers.

Tiffany aims to bring culture back into the lives of those who need it most and create a supportive environment for indigenous parents and their children.

Tiffany Simon’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience, healing, and self-discovery. Through her experiences, she has emerged as a source of inspiration and hope for her community. With her determination and vision for positive change, Tiffany is poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of indigenous individuals and families.

Learn more about the SAGE program offered by the Elizabeth Fry Society.