Angeconeb Receives 2022 Oneesh Tamkey Award

Tikinagan Child and Family Services created an award called ONEESH TAMKEY, which means, “Someone who sits in front of a boat or canoe guiding the direction. The others follow the direction given by the one sitting in the front.”

When we are paddling a canoe, the one who directs the course to take, on a lake or rapids, must have knowledge of a safe passage to a desired destination and must recognize risks, as it is the one at the front who has the most visibility.  ONEESH TAMKEY points the way.  The one at the rear is steering the canoe and only follows the ONEESH TAMKEY’s direction.

This award is designed to recognize those people who have made a valuable contribution to Tikinagan’s development. On October 6, former Tikinagan Director of Service Judy Angeconeb was awarded the honour at Tikinagan’s Annual Chiefs Assembly in Thunder Bay.

If you called Tikinagan Child & Family Services 34 years ago, you may have heard Judy Angeconeb, our receptionist at the time but now retired as Director of Service last month.

“Those days we had a six-line switchboard, typewriters, notebooks, erasers, and index cards to keep track of open and closed files,” recalled Judy.

During her three and a half decades at the agency, Judy played a key part in helping shape the Tikinagan service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, which means “everyone working together to raise our children.”

“It took a lot of meetings, and our Elders played a big part in developing it,” said Judy of the model’s development. “It’s about helping families, helping other staff, and improving areas.”

Judy stressed the key component of the Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin is to remember that the answers lie within the communities. Her greatest hope is that all children, youth, and young adults remain in their communities and continue their education to become successful in what their dream goals are.

“The joy is when you return the child back to their home. Seeing the happy faces of children, tears of joy.”