As an Indspire Regional Rep, I was booked to visit schools at Alexis First Nation. It was a great eye-opener for me as it has been awhile since I have visited a First Nation on-reserve school. I forgot how different things are on reserve – and by different, I mean more challenging.
I grew up on reserve and faced a lot of the same challenges that these students face. I did go to school off reserve and faced more racism and discrimination, so I can really relate to these students. I was able to be in both schools to answer so many great questions.
Students asked what it is like to be in university; how did I decide what to study; and how did I know what classes to take. I am ever grateful to share my knowledge about post-secondary. I told them many stories about the student advisors, program coordinators, and aboriginal education centres. I shared my obstacles and barriers so they know that they are not alone in their journey through education, and I was extremely humbled by the opportunity to hear their struggles and barriers in their final year of high school. They were excited to hear about the scholarships, bursaries, and awards and I feel great about helping them get started!
I am lucky to be able to serve in this position and have the opportunity to be a motivation source for these students, my fellow post-secondary students, and future colleagues. For this opportunity I am extremely grateful. I look forward to being oskapios (in Cree this means young helper) and visiting more communities!