Nicole Peltier is a Nipissing University student, 4th year Environmental Geography with a Minor in Business. She is also a single mother, community volunteer, local activist, and entrepreneur.
Nicole was born in Barrie, ON and grew up in the Muskokas with her three younger sisters. Specifically, Huntsville. Muskoka is full of lakes and streams ripe for canoeing and fishing. Affectionately named cottage country, she has wandered a many forest, built tree houses, breathed the löyly (spirit, breath, and soul) of many saunas, enjoys X-Country skiing her family’s snowy fields, and loves Mom & Pop shops. She grew up on the banks of the Muskoka River, feeding the snapping turtles hiding under the community dock (seemingly not be able to catch fish for themselves).
In 2003, at the age of 17, she moved to Sault Ste. Marie to raise a family. Nicole has two children, Avery Altina and Sidney Aero (girl and boy, respectively) ages 11 and 9. She teaches her children about democratic values by bringing them to community events. Many times she has brought them as sit-ins to her Nipissing University classes. In doing this, her children have become strong independent thinkers and are certainly not shy at expressing themselves in private or in public…
While living in Sault Ste. Marie (SSM), Nicole fell upon hard times. She enrolled in Ontario Works LEAP program (Learning, Earning, And Parenting) in order to achieve her high school education. She volunteered to be the young parent representative in creating a revolutionary program called Young Parents Connection (YPC).
YPC advocated for community engagement. Multiple community agencies, from Ontario Works, Algoma Health Unit, Red Cross, Early Years Centres, to the YMCA empowered young parents to achieve a higher education. This paved the way to a reduction in high school drop outs, decreased poverty, decreased parental stress, increased social networking among ostracized peers and community agencies, increased educational attainment, and increased well being of all who enrolled. Nicole continues to engage those SSM young parents by being a guest speaker at graduation dinners in partnership with Ontario Works (and the named agencies above).
Nicole has experienced being the most vulnerable, marginalized people within society. In 2004, while pregnant, she volunteered at the Soup Kitchen in SSM. There she helped served daily meals to the most impoverished as well as being one herself. She learned the issues around food security, health care, and compassion. There were children among those that sought sustenance with their parents. She will always speak of those hard times because even today, people are living them now. She continues to fight for equality and justice for all.
Ms. Peltier moved to North Bay upon learning of Nipissing University’s lucrative $13,000 President’s Scholarship. She attended West Ferris Secondary School, achieving a grade point average of 91.3%. She received NU’s President’s Scholarship, enrolling in Nipissing University’s School of Business. Two years into her BBA, she switched to a BA in Environmental Geography.
In 2014, Nicole was the provincial Green Party candidate for Nipissing, bumping the Green vote in the riding while running a virtual no-expense campaign.
Within the same year, she ran for Trustee of the Near North District School Board. She has analysed their By-Laws and found them to be dysfunctional and undemocratic. She continues her fight against the status quo as she remembers those most impacted by legislator and systemic complacency. She will likely run again as Trustee in the 2018 municipal elections.
Encouraged by her community, Nicole was the 2015 federal Green Party candidate for Nipissing-Timiskaming.
In the future, Nicole plans to build on her experience as a Research Assistant in the Forest Resources Laboratory. She enjoys ecological economics. Ideally, she would like to be involved in contributing to the long-term planning and technological enhancement of Northern Ontario’s natural resource-based economy.