Miranda Jade Augustine is, in many ways, your average university student. She enjoys spending time with friends, has big plans for her future and loves to play sports. But Miranda, who grew up in Metepenagiag First Nation, is more than just a talented athlete; she is also a role model, motivator and inspiration to dozens of First Nation children throughout New Brunswick.
Miranda plays a variety of sports herself. She is currently a member of the Women’s Club Hockey team at University of New Brunswick, and last year she played rugby for St Thomas University. She was the captain of her hockey team in Grade 12. She is also actively involved in the New Brunswick Indian Summer Games, an annual event organized for First Nation youth in the province aged 5 to 18. Over recent years at the Games, Miranda has competed in track and field, basketball, volleyball and more.
Miranda’s positive influence doesn’t end with her own sporting accomplishments. She has taken on the role of mentor and coach to younger kids from Metepenagiag First Nation (or Red Bank) who are also competing in the NB Indian Summer Games. She coaches the age 13 to 15 girls basketball team, and has mentored and instructed all children in the age 5 to 12 track and field category. When asked about this experience, Miranda is clearly passionate. “Coaching the kids is even more rewarding than playing sports myself. Getting to see them play, see them win… just being able to enjoy the whole experience. It’s really great.”
Miranda grew up facing challenges, from financial, to transportation and even racism; however she didn’t realize the extent of the difficulties she’d faced until she got a little older. “I grew up thinking I had it good, seeing the kinds of problems other kids I grew up with were dealing with. It wasn’t until later that I kind of realized that I had it tough too.” Miranda also takes steps to acknowledge the level of support she received from her community growing up and is appreciative of the role it played in making her who she is today, as well as helping her meet her challenges.
Miranda is working towards a kinesiology degree, with the goal of eventually becoming a physiotherapist. Miranda is very active in the organization of the New Brunswick Indian Summer Games, and continues to be an inspiration to the youth she works, plays and coaches with. Thanks Miranda, you’re a true inspiration!