Out in the Open

Family Tree

We all inherit so much from our families. And whether what gets passed down to you is helpful or hurtful, it's common to want to set yourself apart from what's handed down. This week, Piya asks: How do you branch out from your family tree?

This episode was originally published on June 10, 2018.

No matter what yours looks like, or what kind of relationship you have with them, we all inherit so much from our families. And whether what gets passed down to you is helpful or hurtful (or a bit of both), it's common to want to set yourself apart, and do something different than what you're handed. This week, Piya asks: How do you branch out from your family tree?

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

For Chuck Winters breaking the cycle of violence meant taking a good hard look at himself

When he was growing up, former CFL player Chuck Winters says he says he regularly witnessed his mother being slapped and beaten by his stepfather. Eventually, he became violent himself, beating his stepfather into a coma. He speaks with Piya about how that moment led him on a path to breaking the cycle of violence within his own family.

Calgary student determined to be first in his family to graduate high school

Cauy Healy is a grade 11 student in Calgary. And he's determined to succeed in school, because he wants to do something that neither of his parents and none of his siblings have ever done: graduate. He tells Piya how overcoming stereotypes about Indigenous people factors into his motivation to make it through grade 12... and beyond.

The exhilaration and isolation of being the first family member to attend university

Sheena Thomas was the first in her family to attend post secondary school. She talks about navigating the university experience without being able to rely on knowledge from her parents, and fears she had that obtaining higher education might divide her from the rest of her family members.

Breaking the branch: How one woman plans to stop genetic disease by not having kids

Chantelle Smith's mother didn't know she had Huntington's disease when she was pregnant with Chantelle and her sister. She also didn't know there was a 50 per cent chance she'd pass the gene confirming the disease's presence on to her kids. Chantelle tells Piya how discovering she has the gene herself has motivated her to not have children of her own, halting further spread of the disease.


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