Candidate for Regional Councilor, Region 9
Tanshi! My name is Cassandra Pandora Wilhelm.
I was born and raised predominantly in the Georgian Bay Area of Ontario. I spent the majority of my childhood and adolescence hunting and fishing on the Trent Severn Waterway by the Hydro Dam at our family cottage where my parents now live.
I moved to the Region of Waterloo in 2011 with my children and attended Conestoga College for General Arts & Sciences. During the completion of my certificate I became involved in the downtown community of Kitchener through The Working Centre and Ray of Hope. In 2012 I had the honour and privilege of attending the Toronto Council Fire’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as an Honorary Youth Witness. It was after this I began reaching out and trying to connect with my community.
I first became aware of our Métis heritage in my late teens and began more indepth research into our family history in 2011. I became a citizen in 2017 and soon joined the Grand River Métis Council as interim secretary later that year.
I am currently married with four wonderful children whom I encourage to learn all about their culture in a fun way – which is something I look forward to continuing to do with the children & youth in our communities. As a Métis family we’ve had the opportunity to attend both Camp Kitchi through Georgian Bay Métis Council and the Early Years Family Camp hosted by the MNO this past winter in Mattawa.
I have spent the last 9 years working and volunteering in the downtown core of Kitchener-Waterloo in various roles. Being involved with various community-driven agencies I have gained a vast array of transferable skills and experiences in community building and creating capacity.
I’ve also taken part in a multitude of educational opportunities for children, youth and educators within our region. From going into schools and teaching classes about our Métis culture and way of life to organizing large scale events for Scouting and Guiding focusing around cultural education.
My previous experience on the council level has afforded me the insight into the gaps that our Region as a whole faces in terms of clear communication, funding, accessibility and inclusion. These are all key points that I plan on addressing if elected with the guidance of our citizens & councils.
I am extremely passionate about our children & youth and I believe in providing them with every opportunity to connect with each other and to grow in their culture and community. I believe in order to accomplish this our community events need to be inclusive and accessible to all of our citizens and their families.
I promise that if elected, I will represent our Region’s voices in a fair, appropriate and unbiased manner based on the direction I receive from our citizens and community councils in Region 9.
If you have any questions or ideas that you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I also have created a website where you can find more information about me, my values and commitment. You can visit it at https://www.pandorawilhelm.ca/