Goose Bay youth wins Aboriginal Achievement Award

Jamie Lewis
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At 17, Brandon Ramey is an inspiration, to not only aboriginal youth in the community, but to everyone in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

At a young age, Ramey lost his father to a motor vehicle accident. It was through the death of his father that Ramey began the road to helping others in the community.

He is a volunteer firefighter for the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation Volunteer fire department. On several occasions Brandon has gone out and done everything from cutting wood for a firebreak to manning a hose to fight forest fires.

He also does speaking engagements for MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) where he educates youth of the tragedy of drinking and driving.

“I try to get the point across about drinking and driving. I went to different schools showing videos about the severity of drinking and driving, and not to get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking and driving,” he said.

He also took part in a trip where he went from community to community in southern Labrador talking to other students around his age about the hazards and dangers of getting involved with drugs and alcohol. To this day he keeps in touch with many of the people he spoke with to counsel them if they are having a hard time.

Last year, Ramey and Carly Thomson organized the RCMP appreciation night, where over 120 people attended, including Peter Penashue and Todd Russell.

“It was a fundraiser for the Kids Eat Smart Program and we raised over $3,000 and it was to show appreciation for RCMP officers here in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.”

Ramey said that he was shocked  to hear about his award nomination by Cpl. Rick Mills of the RCMP in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“I was really honoured by that, so I gave him all the information I had about me so he could begin the nomination process. I was shocked when I was selected as a recipient,” he said.

Cpl. Rick Mills said he nominated Ramey because of all the good things he has done in the community.

“To do all he has done at 16 and 17 years old is remarkable. And what he did here in terms of the RCMP to tell the community what the RCMP is doing. For him to bring in Peter Penashue and Todd Russell to speak as guest speakers…I thought it was phenomenal,” said Mills.

Ramey said he hopes one day to become an RCMP officer and is thankful for all the support he has received. But he says there are other youth in the community that are also deserving of such an award.

“I wanted to thank Keith Russell, he has been a role model for me, my family, Stacy, Rebecca, Josh and Blake and Rick Mills for nominating me,” he added.

Organizations: RCMP, MADD

Geographic location: Goose Bay, Happy Valley, Southern Labrador

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