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Student Stories

Inspiring success stories about out how Indspire has helped Indigenous students reach their full potential.

Lynn Kilabuk (Inuit, Nunavut)

Lynn Kilabuk has a passion for helping children. Her dream to become a teacher is now within reach as she is completing a Bachelor of Education program at Nunavut Arctic College. “I chose to study teaching because I want to help build my community and be a great leader. I have always worked around children and knew it was a career for me. There is a high rate of dropouts in our high school and I believe introducing new programs and activities can enhance the child’s possibilities for the future.”

Tyson Bull (First Nation, Saskatchewan)

Tyson Bull is in the Juris Doctor program at the University of Saskatchewan and shares some inspiring words on perseverance. “My dream is to become either a Crown prosecutor or a criminal defence lawyer. In becoming a lawyer I hope to serve as an example to other young Métis and Aboriginal people that higher education and academic achievement is possible. This past year was the hardest I’d ever worked at anything. All my life I have been so afraid of failure that I’d never really tried to do anything challenging. I know it sounds cliché, but this year I discovered that if I put in the effort, I can do better than I ever dreamed possible.”


Braddon Taibossigai (First Nation, Ontario)

Braddon Taibossigai, who is currently completing the Welding program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, encourages other Indigenous students to take up a trade. “I am a journeyman welder (Red Seal) and have been in the trade since the summer of 2003. I love what I do and enjoy the work a lot. In today’s world, a trade can take you a long way. It is fun and a fantastic way of meeting new people to work with.”

Doreen Saulis (First Nation, New Brunswick)

In her final year of a two-year Master of Education program at the University of New Brunswick, Doreen Saulis wants to contribute to a broader understanding of how Aboriginal literacy has an impact on the social, economic, health and spiritual aspects of Aboriginal people. “I want to focus on how it impacts our capacity to pursue and be successful within employment, training, education and the broader learning agenda. My focus is on a holistic perspective of Aboriginal literacy.”

Tommy Moar (First Nation, Québec)

Tommy Moar is in his final year of a three year Bachelor of Arts in a Social Communication program at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. “I am eager to finish my studies to be able to do my part to inform people so they better understand the stakes for us. That is my motivation, my expectations and my dreams in terms of my studies. I want to work for the Atikametkw Nation Council, because I believe that is where I will be able to make a difference.”

Willow Thickson (Métis, British Columbia)

Willow Thickson, a Human Kinetics in Kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia has set her sights on becoming a leader in the health field. “The more I understand how important physical activity, nutrition, and health is for me, the more I want to know how to inform others. I have started spreading my knowledge to my sister, who like a lot of Aboriginals, has diabetes. After realizing that not only do Aboriginals as a Nation have large problem with overall health issues, they also have a lack of health leaders. I hope one day that will be me.”

Parry Burnstick (First Nation, Alberta)

As the recipient of an Oil and Gas Trades and Technology bursary, Parry Burnstick recently completed his Period 1 Ironworker program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. “I chose ironworking as my trade and I love it. The thing I find most rewarding is knowing that my handywork will still be standing long after I’m gone. Just think that a young man, 26 years old, from a small reserve is building huge things! I’d love to see more Indigenous youth doing what I do and enjoying it as much as I do.”

Baylie Sinclair (Métis, Saskatchewan)

Baylie Sinclair’s patience and perseverance in completing a five year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program at the University of Saskatchewan will be for the benefit of her clients. “Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals which is very appealing to me. I find that I can form relationships with patients and enhance their quality of life whether they are suffering from acute or chronic conditions. I feel my personal attributes of patience, problem solving skills, communication skills, and gentle nature would be a great benefit for my pharmacy career.”

Desiree Pachkowski (Métis, Manitoba)

Desiree Pachkowski, an honour student in the University of Manitoba’s Bachelor of Commerce program has a fierce drive to succeed. “I have chosen to pursue my education in Business to better myself and my community. My upbringing has inspired me to rise above my circumstances and pursue a higher education while staying connected to my community. My own difficulties experienced in overcoming obstacles to achieve my dreams have naturally compelled me to assist others experiencing similar situations.”

Tyler Ayers (First Nation, Saskatchewan)

An honour student and a determined young man, Tyler Ayers is completing his Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Electrical) program at the University of Saskatchewan. “I have always been taught that with hard work and dedication to the project at hand, any goal can be reached. I have been challenged in many areas, from academic to moving away from home. I believe that I have risen to these challenges and have learned new things as well as gained knowledge from my experiences at university.”

Adam Russell (First Nation, Ontario)

Adam Russell wants to become a chiropractor so that he can provide health care to the people of his community. “With the support I have been given from Indspire, as well as my family, friends and community, it is my dream to open a wellness centre and offer affordable health care to everyone. It is my lifelong goal to give back to the community that has helped me every step of the way.” Russell is halfway to reaching his goal of completing a four year Doctor of Chiropractic program at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

Jodi-Lyn Rask (Métis, Saskatchewan)

Jodi-Lyn Rask, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Grant MacEwan University believes in social justice. “Every human being should have fair access to housing, education, clean drinking water, and a health care system that is accessible regardless of location or race. As a nurse, I hope to be able to provide some of these services to help better the lives and health of the Aboriginal population and to help empower and educate all women who experience racial oppression so that both they and their children have the potential to experience a healthy life.”