Building a good life
Hello my names Michael Tyance, I was born and raised in Ontario. As I was growing up my parents were alcoholics and I didn’t understand. When I was around 4 years of age I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, around the same time my parents had many problems and divorced. My brothers and I were sent to foster care shortly after, and from there I moved from foster home to foster home.
Around the age of 8 I developed a behavioural problem and was sent to a six month behavioural treatment program at a facility called the Aboriginal Behaviour Treatment Unit in Thunder Bay Ontario.
A year later my mother finally got custody of my youngest brother and I and my Dad gained my two oldest brothers. Things were going good and we moved to a Red Lake Ontario. Where I eventually joined up for a cadet corps, I went through the ranks and became the coxswain of over 40 cadets. This is also where I gain my love of sailing, I learned how to sail two-person 420’s and 49ers. I became a bronze five sailor and an expert in rudderless sailing; as well I became a sail instructor. With these skills I was able to travel across the country from Victoria BC to Halifax Nova Scotia and see the country to race in regatta’s and attend sail camps.
Life was good until I began high school, where I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was 14 years old when I first tried weed and I was addicted to pills at the age of 16. How I paid for my drugs is I would steal money from stores, do break and enterings, anything to make money and fuel my addiction. Eventually though the police caught up with me and I was arrested and charged with theft over 5000, possession over 5000 and two counts of break and entering. For one night of bad ideas and fuelled on drugs I lost everything, I was fired from my job, kicked out of cadets, and the sail club. I was also kicked out of my mom’s and was sent to live with my oldest brother in Thunder Bay in the hopes that I would get better if I was away from the situations in Red Lake.
But living in the city I gained easier access to more and cheaper drugs. My addiction got worse and I was kicked out my brother’s place and spent roughly around 9 months living on the streets of Thunder Bay, living a miserable life before I decided to get help.
The health clinic and many different people that were willing to help me get the help I needed. I was sent here to Leading Thunderbird Lodge for a three month intake treatment. This course included one-on-one and group therapy sessions, schooling, a cultural program, as well as a horse program. I learned many different things during my stay here at LTL about drugs effects, my anger and about myself, as well as to overcome challenges.
Nearing the end of my intake someone came up to me and asked me if I wanted to stay and live in Saskatchewan. So I could take another intake and finish my treatment. After thinking on this for a while I figured my best option was to take the opportunity I was given and continue living in Saskatchewan. My choice to live here was not an easy decision to make, it meant I wouldn’t be able to see anyone I knew as well as my family. So sometime during my last intake Derek and Dalyce Francis who did our horse program came to me and asked me if I wanted to come out and live with them to work, ride horses and go back to high school to finish my grade 12. So after graduating from LTL again I moved in with them went to school got my high school diploma and learned more about horses.
Now I work hard for the things I want and I make my own money and learning various and valuable life skills. When I first came here I didn’t know I liked horses, my first horse encounter was the first day I came to Saskatchewan when LTL had the horse program and I loved it ever since. Now I ride young horses and trouble horses for people for extra money. I also have taken a liking to saddle bronc riding. My plans for the future is to attend college and take up a trade in welding, and continue to working to build up a good life for myself. I been given a great opportunity here and I have to thank everyone that has given me the help I needed and a chance to turn my life around. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.