When I first spoke with Ashley Callingbull in 2010, she was just warming up to beauty pageants. But she seemed determined to use the pageants to get her message out, to showcase her culture and alleviate the First Nations stereotypes.
Earlier that same year she became the first Enoch Cree contestant in the 2010 Miss Canada pageant. Ashley gained a lot of support and, shockingly, a lot of resistance. One newspaper even wrote,
“What is she going to do for her talent, write a welfare cheque with her toes?”
Adding insult to injury, Ashley had grown up under the most dire of circumstances, she recalled picking bottles out the garbage, recycling them to try and get enough money to eat. She was physically and sexually abused. As a survivor of the abuse, she’s committed to volunteering to help others who deal with the same pain. “Still, if you told me I’d become Mrs. Universe I would have never believed you.”
Over the weekend Ashley Callingbull, member of the Enoch Cree Nation, was crowned Mrs. Universe.
“Wherever I travel to in the world, my Chiver friends and supporters are always encourage and supporting me in everything I do! Thanks again for introducing me to such kickass people!”
Congrats to Ashley, you deserve every good thing coming you way!
Ashley’s Twitter and Facebook!