“Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? Definitely not. I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change and bring awareness to First Nations issues here in Canada. I’m getting all this media attention and I’m going to use it to the best of my ability. I’m not your typical beauty queen. Look out… I have a voice for change and I’m going to use it!”
Ashley Callingbull, a 25-year-old from the Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada, on Saturday became the first native woman and the first Canadian to ever win the Mrs. Universe pageant – wants to use her title as a platform to speak about the kinds of physical and sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
Ashley says she survived physical and sexual abuse during her childhood by embracing her Cree heritage, rather than turning to drugs or alcohol…. “I pushed myself into my culture, into my beliefs and my traditions, and I used that to find myself and to heal.”
Callingbull is a dancer, model, actress and former Miss Canada who currently stars in the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network show “Blackstone.”
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