Long road makes way for First Nations mother's fresh start
Single mom Brandy Maxie knows her children face risks because of their race
After years of fear and disappointment, Brandy Maxie's life took a turn.
The single mother of three got a break in the form of a job interview in Saskatoon. The chance at a new life came just in time, after years of living in fear in Regina's North Central neighbourhood, unable to escape what she called the "hood." She was afraid her dreams would die there.
"I just kind started feeling hopeless," she stated. "Like, I can't get a decent paying job. I can't do this. I can't do that. When you're living poor, people treat you pretty bad, especially if you're an indigenous woman. They really do."
Maxie said it was a long journey that lead her to Saskatoon. She won her way through First Nations' entrepreneurial competitions. She explained that she often wore sweatshirts to the presentations because she was too poor to buy a blazer.
Racism made her more determined to succeed
Physically my appearance, I look like what they would stereotype as a prostitute.- Brandy Maxie
"Me, walking to a business planning competition and somebody yells 'how much?' or tries to stop me," she said. "They're not driving by and thinking 'oh no, she looks like she's trying to do good in her life, I'm going to leave her alone'. Physically my appearance, I look like what they would stereotype as a prostitute."
Her two sons, ages six and eight, both have health challenges. Her eldest and only daughter, 11-year-old Valyncia, is always by her side.
Read about Maxie's parenting strategy here: Parenting First Nations children in a world of risk
Read more about this story here:
- No escape from the hood for single mother
- Fighting for a brighter future
- Raising a daughter in a world of the missing and murdered
CBC Saskatchewan is taking a closer look this week at missing and murdered indigenous women cases in the province. We are exploring everything from how mothers are raising their daughters differently to the role men play in finding a solution to what more needs to be done.
We've also launched a way you can tell your story about how a missing and murdered indigenous case has touched your life. Share your story here.