Because There Were Children Who Needed Her: Carol Ledoux’s Story

Carol Ledoux was terrified of flying. But that didn’t stop her from boarding tiny little ‘puddle jumpers’ Cessna-style airplanes to fly in to remote northern communities.

“She made herself do it because she knew there were children who needed her,” says her daughter Stacey Ledoux.

Carol Ledoux passed away suddenly in September of 2015. Her daughter says she always knew her mother was kind, caring, and driven, but it wasn’t until her passing that she realized exactly what a profound affect she had on her own communities and the communities in which she worked.

“She just gave everything she could,” says Stacey. “It didn’t matter if she was tired or just had $20 in her pocket if someone needed it she would give it them.”

Carol Ledoux graduated from the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) in 1980 with a Certificate in Indian Social Work. Back then, it was known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC).

Just two years later, Carol graduated with a Bachelor of Indian Social Work, followed by a Bachelor of Arts in 1992.

Stacey says her mom was always pushing herself. She says when he mom was set to do her practicum for her social work degree, she could have stayed in Saskatoon where she knew the community and had friends and family for support.

Instead, she says her mom chose to go to LaRonge, Saskatchewan. She took the bus there and used to walk to her placement. Stacey says he mom wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone, and learn as much as she possibly could.

“Pushing herself so hard so early in her career just set the bar for the rest of her career,” says Stacey.

Stacey says her mother was passionate about helping Aboriginal children, and worked everywhere from Regina all the way into Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta.

Carol was also a band councillor for her home community, Mistawasis First Nation. She had just completed one term and had been re-elected for a second term. She had also worked at the community clinic as a prevention worker for a number of years.

In fact, the first nation has renamed the clinic after Carol Ledoux to recognize all her hard work.

And much of that work continues in her own family, through Stacey.

Stacey is enrolled in Indian Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada. She says her mom always told her that she’d be good at it, but she resisted her mother’s advice at first.

“She would tell me ‘you’re good for this work, you can help your people,’” says Stacey.

Eventually, Stacey realized that was true. And she can see how important it is. She says her mother was very passionate about helping Aboriginal children and it was the driving force behind all of her hard work.

“She loved what she was doing, I don’t think she had any regrets,” says Stacey. “She was exactly where she wanted to be in her career and in her life.”

Stacey says the renaming of the clinic is just one great way to remember such her mother, a selfless woman who gave everything she could to help others.

by Merelda Fiddler