ABOUT US

Meet PANDORA

Pandora is the mother of four children and, along with her husband Matthew, lives on the unceded territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation in Linwood, Ontario. She is a proud Métis woman and is extensively involved in her Indigenous Community.

Pandora was born and raised predominantly in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario. Growing up with a musician father, Pandora has always had a strong passion for music. She is currently an Early Childhood Education student at First Nations Tech Institute and aspires to be a Métis Educator. Pandora is passionate about reconnecting the children of our communities with their traditional languages through hands-on learning. 

In 2012 Pandora had the privilege of participating in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission when it came to Toronto during the Meeting Place Conference hosted by Council Fire. She attended the conference as an Honorary Youth Witness through Canadian Roots Exchange's Youth Conference portion. 

​It was here that Pandora saw the devastating impact that the Residential School System has had on First Nations, Inuit and Metis Communities across Turtle Island. As a young mother at the time, seeing the photos in identification books containing rows and rows of indigenous children was very traumatic. Not having any genuine education on the history of her communities until that conference, Pandora decided to educate herself further and begin her journey towards Reconciliation. 

Over the next 5 years Pandora became more involved within her community. She volunteered extensively at The Working Centre and Ray of Hope while raising two children and attending part-time college courses. It was through her volunteerism with The Working Centre that she was connected into her local Indigenous Community through one of their staff members Clarence Cachagee. In 2016, Pandora was hired by The Working Centre in their Job Cafe Program.

While working in the Job Cafe Program at The Working Centre, Pandora connected with several participants who were First Nations. In walking alongside them during their journey, she made the decision to apply to the local Indigenous Agency that provided support and wraparound services to those within her community that were suffering from the intergenerational effects of The Residential School System. 

In 2017 Pandora began working at The Healing of The Seven Generations in Kitchener. The Healing of The Seven Generations is an Indigenous not-for-profit organization doing amazing work within the Region of Waterloo. From Court Support Services to Cultural Supports, Food Security and Family programs, Healing of The Seven Generation works tirelessly to fill the gaps within mainstream institutions for the Indigenous Community.

With the support of her employer, Pandora returned to her post-secondary studies in 2019 at First Nations Technical Institute for the Indigenous Focused Early Childhood Education Program. It was through this program that Mulberry Design & Engravings was born.

During one of her classes, Pandora and her classmates were given assignment to create an Early Learning Resource that reflected their unique cultures and languages. Pandora created a puzzle out of paper in the form of a matching game, and the rest is history. Today, Mulberry Designs and Engravings works with Indigenous communities across Canada and the US, providing tools and resources to help children and their families to reclaim their traditional languages and culture. 

In March of 2021, Pandora was accepted into the Fierce Founder’s Uplift Program through Communitech. Through this program she is receiving guidance and assistance in the development of a digital language application that focuses on language development in the early years. She is also receiving one to one mentorship in developing and expanding her business.

Pandora has also participated in the Women's Entrepreneurship Centre's 'Start My Business Bootcamp', the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Skills Training Program as well as the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Training Program through University of Waterloo and St. Paul's College.