Prince George resident and Minerva BC program alumna Tamara Gregg reflects on her role as a vocational advisor
Mentoring others as they walk their life journeys was not something Prince George resident Tamara Gregg would have anticipated she would be doing as a career. However, given time to reflect on how she got to where she is now, she can appreciate what led her to taking on a leadership role.
Having spent much of her childhood and early adult years in a small community – connections were vitally important. She explains those connections included forming lifelong bonds with the community, surrounding communities and all of their members. And it is those very connections, says the mother of three sons, grandmother and member of the Lusilyoo Clan of Nak’azdli Whut’en, that provide us with, “the grounding, guidance and support needed to live our best lives,” says Gregg.
Another important leadership-development connection Gregg recalls she made along the way was with Minerva BC:
“In the early 2000’s, I had the good fortune to meet Marie Nygaard – who was the chair for Minerva BC’s northern region in Prince George. She introduced the organization to me so when she asked if I wanted to work on an event with her, I was only too happy to take part. Her passion and commitment were contagious.”
The experience of working with Minerva BC was during a time Gregg says she was also busy with personal and professional development that included spending time with Elders. Looking back, she recalls learning to truly appreciate the concept that through adversity comes strength and eventually inner peace and with that – confidence. To this day, she still recalls a life lesson one of the Elders shared with her – something that shaped her path for the journey she is on today.
“There was one lesson in particular that I still remember now. An Elder was talking and talking about many different lessons and different stories and this continued for quite some time. I think he must have seen my expression, at one point, and it must have been one of worry. It was at that point I told him, “I am really worried I am not going to remember everything you tell me, and he replied, ‘Don’t worry. When the time is right, you will remember what you need to remember.’”
That boost of confidence she experienced so many years ago was something Gregg shared with those who attended the Learning to Lead™ program Minerva BC recently held in Prince George at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her presentation was presented as a dialogue, with the topic emphasis being confidence in oneself – an important quality of a competent leader.
For the past five and a half years, Gregg’s life journey has been tied to the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) – a private training institution that serves First Nations as well as the urban aboriginal community located in the north-central Interior of BC. In her role as PGNAETA’s Industry Connector Coordinator, Gregg is involved in developing partnerships with industry sectors and recruiting and training qualified individuals so that they are pursuing their passion of a respectable, well paying career.
Gregg is very proud of the career she has chosen and is committed to ensuring that First Nation people are skilled, work-force ready and linked to reputable employers for the opportunity to live a life of prosperity, joy, goals, and a future that will allow the candidate to harvest the fruits of their labour, living their best life. Our network is important to our success.
She equates these traits with the Elders and Mentors she has met along her personal journey. “When I think of the Elders and Mentors that I was fortunate to cross paths with whom I hold near and dear to my heart, there is that honesty, unwavering love, joy and acceptance that comes with them.”
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