Recognizing and Celebrating My Heritage at Sanofi
By Pamela L. Mills, Senior Compliance Specialist
My name is Pamela L. Mills. Some may know me as Squaw Sagamore Alsoome’ – my tribal name. For the past 8 years, I have been on a journey of cultural discovery and awareness as a blood member of the Massachusetts Chappiquiddic tribe with ties reaching as far back as Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag confederacy.
This journey has been enlightening and has really opened my eyes to my Indigenous heritage and family. I’ve recently learned that 100 years ago, my great grandmother, Laura L. Vickers, was also a leader of her tribe called the Nipmucks of Massachusetts. Laura’s father, Charles K. Vickers, served in the Civil War, 76th U.S. Colored Troops, Co. K, with his father, Samuel Vickers. Growing up, my mother and aunts often told me that I look just like my great grandmother Laura.
Since I’ve learned this, I’ve made it my mission to continue to educate myself, and others, on a heritage and culture that goes so deep in our country’s history (and is rarely talked about). In doing so, I’ve also recently been given the opportunity to co-lead Sanofi’s newly launched North American Indigenous Awareness (NAIA) Employee Resource Group (ERG). NAIA’s mission is to provide a safe space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees to connect, share, learn, and grow as one Sanofi. NAIA’s goal is to unite Sanofians who are passionate about creating awareness of, and respect for, the history, truths and dignity of the First Peoples of the land.
Co-leading Sanofi’s new ERG for North American Indigenous people is a great honor and I hope to do it justice. Sanofi’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy and initiatives provide employees like me an opportunity to share our history, experiences, and goals, as well as advocate for support and representation of historically marginalized groups. Through the launch of the NAIA ERG, I hope that we can enlighten and galvanize our Sanofi family to understand and provide support in the face of the challenges that concern First Peoples of North America.