Tseshaht’s own Tasha Sam receives award for her ‘magic’ in child care


Tasha Sam has been honoured for working “magic” with the developmentally delayed children she supports at Nuu-chah-nulth Child and Youth Services.

The 28-year-old Tseshaht member was one of four early childhood educators honoured at the annual B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society conference in Richmond on Nov. 6.

The society’s vice president Maurice Squires highlighted Sam’s “gentleness, patience and calm demeanour” in saying she is able to unlock the innermost potential of the kids she works with.

“She has taken on a great challenge and is working with children showing moderate to severe health issues, behavior and developmental challenges,” Squires said.

“She constantly works magic with them.”

Sam has wanted to work with kids ever since she was a youth herself babysitting her cousins.

She completed her education in early childhood education after high school and was hired at Tseshaht’s Head Start Daycare Program in 2007.
Sam started working with Nuu-chah-nulth Child and Youth Services in 2010.

She said her job is to help get kids “to where they’re supposed to be” development-wise.

Sam has seen many children over the years and stressed the importance of daycare for young kids so they can start developing social skills, speech and language.

Her current boss nominated her for the childcare recognition award, and Sam was surprised to learn that she had won just one week prior to the conference.

She thanked Nuu-chah-nulth Child and Youth Services along with her parents, June and Lance Billy.

“My dad is a fulltime fisherman and my mother is a senior care aid. Growing up, I was always seeing them work very hard,” she said.

“They’ve been my main support system my whole life.”

B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society’s recognition awards were created to honour early childhood educators who are nominated by colleagues for their work as role models.

The other three winners for 2015 were Sharlene Wilson, Trena Haller and Flo Lewis.

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