A Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin Legacy: Judy Angeconeb

Judy Angeconeb, Director of Services

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

“’What does Mamow mean to you?’ That is question that needs to be asked to all staff across the agency, not only frontline workers.  What is your goal you want to see while working in Tikinagan, as admin, quality assurance, front line, supervisor, or training? And what do you want Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin to represent? 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.

“My heart breaks to see children come into care, but most times it is not good situation, so to know your families in the communities help by placing them with extended family. The joy is when you return the child back to their home. Seeing the happy faces of children, tears of joy.” 

Judy recognizes, though, the challenges of working in child wellbeing in your home community.

“People will say things to you, but don’t get offended. Often people with problems do want to see their own. You will be disliked by people, but if you continue to be visible and see the families, they will come around and see the good that we are there for them, helping and supporting.

“Know your families, visit them at when they are doing well not only when it is a difficult time. I know it is hard during this time of COVID but be creative, so your families know they can call on you for support. There are other resources in our agency that can help, prevention services, admin, quality assurance, IT, and finance all have a part in helping.

Judy encourages all Tikinagan staff to remember that self-care is important to the longevity of their careers.

“I say no one is going to look after you if you don’t. Take time off, prepare for those days for someone else to step in.”

Judy concluded by noting that there is no word in Ojibway to say “good-bye,” so she says “until I see you again.

“As I exit from Tikinagan, I wish all staff much happiness, good health and to say you are doing a good job.”