Wpg Free Press: Rising stars, shining bright
By the time she was 26, Ashley Richard had co-founded a magazine.
Richard, the granddaughter of the late Winnipeg elder and indigenous trailblazer Mary Richard, works at an executive search firm with offices in Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa. This weekend she was part of a record number of indigenous graduates who were celebrated at the University of Manitoba.
Richard graduated with honours a month ago, earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the Asper School of Business. The magazine she co-founded with a group of friends, Red Rising, is a non-profit platform with an online site that features aboriginal writers, musicians and artists.
She always intended to get an education, she said, but barely a decade ago, her life was headed in a much different direction. She was homeless for a year in Toronto after taking off on her own at age 15.
“I ultimately ended up in a youth shelter,” Richard said, “and I met a lot of people who were a lot older than me. I couldn’t believe they were at the same stage I was. I couldn’t picture myself being 24 and still living at this shelter I was at when I’m 17. That motivated me to go back to high school. I knew I couldn’t get anywhere without an education.”