Liz Zylstra is the Collection Co-ordinator at the County of Prince Edward Public Library. She…
My name is Terri Meekis and I am from Wabauskang First Nation. I currently serve my community as a Band Councillor and a Mental Health Advocacy worker. I have three wonderful children, Kiera, Rylan and Malakai.
I received my Social Service Worker Diploma from Northern Lights College in 2012. During my studies, a friendship was formed between Helen Knott and I. Helen approached me one day and asked if I would be interested in participating in an Indigenous Youth Empowering Students program through SchoolBOX. I thought it was an exciting opportunity because it involved traveling to Nicaragua for a ten day, cross cultural experience while helping with a school build. The SchoolBOX trip led to another friendship with Sarah Kerr and we kept in touch throughout the years.
In 2016, my daughter Kiera and I had the opportunity to participate in another IYES program in Nicaragua. Sarah and I discussed how Kiera, myself and SchoolBOX could have a positive impact on education in my community. Those discussions led to an idea of establishing a library in Wabauskang to promote education, literacy and positivity impacting Wabauskang First Nation. In August 2017, Sarah and Margie Graff ventured out to Wabauskang First Nation to help establish a library in Wabauskang First Nation Public Library. The majority of the community pulled together to build shelves, furniture, organize the books and surprise the children with a completed library! After the completion of the library, I researched funding opportunities to help sustain our communities library and reached out to Rashed Ahmad from the Ontario Library Assocation – North. Rashed helped me apply for funding for a librarian salary and to help sustain the library. The library has been receiving continued support through OLA-North, SchoolBOX, Wabauskang First Nation and generous donations from individuals and organizations.