Creating Community Connections

Posted In: Indigenous Commitment. Posted On: October 28, 2021.

Kristen St. Arnault, Northern Sunrise County & Cadotte Lake FCSS

Kristen St. Arnault is originally from Little Red River Cree Nation and she now resides in Simon Lake within the Woodland Cree First Nation. For as long as she can remember she’s been volunteering within her community and is always trying to find ways to lend a helping hand or rally support for community events. In November of 2019 she started working for Northern Sunrise Country as the area’s Community Coordinator and at the same time, took on a role within the Cadotte Lake FCSS.

“I’ve always been passionate about community involvement, but this is the first time I’ve been a direct worker and facilitator of it. I just really enjoy helping out in any way that I
can,” said Kristen.

Upon stepping into her new role, she set out to create a strong relationship with APL, which is something she’s very grateful for today. Kristen knew that APL was a valuable asset to have when it came to putting on community events and having extra support, so it just made sense to work together.

“APL gets involved in the community WITH us. They help us to coordinate programs and also assist with funding. Not only that, but they’re willing to volunteer their time, which we are always so thankful for,” said Kristen.

Kristen works mostly in Cadotte Lake where she divides her time up between coordinating recreational programs and her FCSS duties. As she does this, she almost
always enlists the help of APL so that events and programs can come to life and run smoothly.

“I try to bring in programs, events and resources for the community to help them with family connectivity and family communications,” said Kristen. “A highlight we recently had was our bike rodeo this summer. It was big and successful, and APL played a major part in it.”

Although Kristen tries to do as much as she can herself, she’s learned that receiving help makes all the difference. She believes community involvement is directly impacted when more people are willing to step in, and this is exactly why she cherishes her working relationship with APL.

“APL has been super helpful and has made my job so much easier. They take a lot of the pressure off when it comes to planning and putting on big events for the community. Their involvement is always appreciated,” said Kristen.

When it comes down to how APL can help within the community next, Kristen believes that continuing to offer their time and resources is one of the most valuable actions that they can provide moving forward.

“They are so involved and we know we can count on them for any community events. I think keeping that momentum would be ideal for everyone involved,” said Kristen.

At the end of the day, Kristen cares deeply about serving her community and is continuing to work on coordinating events as much as she can. Whether it’s creating events online for others to enjoy and partake in or putting together programs in person with the help of APL, she is fully dedicated to showcasing the positive affects these events have on community members.

“Community involvement is important to me because it brings people together to communicate and to participate in programming that is joyful and helpful,” said Kristen.
“To me it means getting out there and being a part of something. I want to make a difference in my community, even if it is small.”