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Why Ashley Callingbull Fights for Indigenous Representation Every Day

Ashley Callingbull scored many firsts, but she spent her life making sure she is not the last.

The former Miss Canada winner and proud Plains Cree Indigenous woman from Cree Nation and Treaty Six area has dedicated her life to “positive representation” as a model, actress, writer and activist.

“For a large part of my life, a lot of the things I had to chase were not open to me because I’m an indigenous woman, whether it’s acting or modeling,” Callingbull told E! News on November 1 in honor of our “Ones to Watch” video series celebrating indigenous heritage. “And I was told that, you know, [that] Indigenous people are not recognizable, so we are not going to throw you, which is such a crazy thing to hear. Now, times change and things become more inclusive, it was too long to get to this point. ”

Callingbull continued, “My culture really shaped me because I always had this thing about, ‘Well, why can I not do this? Why can I not?’ I had this thing like, ‘I’m going to prove myself.’ ”

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