Aboriginal Student Office

Aboriginal Student Mentor Program

Starting a new semester or attending a new school can be a bit overwhelming at first. It can take some time for new and returning students to adjust to university life.

The Aboriginal Student Mentor Program aims to connect new First Nations, Métis and Inuit students with senior Aboriginal students at Augustana. Our fabulous Peer Educators help incoming students connect with the community, become acquainted with the university, and provide guidance and encouragement to students as they transition to university life in Camrose.

Dayle Oster

Dayle OsterHi everyone!

My name is Dayle Oster, and I am a third year Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. I grew up in Elk Point Alberta, and am a very proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. In the future I hope to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. This is my second year as an Aboriginal Student Mentor Program Peer Educator, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to become more involved with the Aboriginal students on campus.

Growing up in a Métis family has taught me much about my culture and heritage, this aspect of my life has always been very important to me. Now, I hope to be able to use this knowledge to help mentor students, as well as learn from others, as we are all going on this academic journey together.

Being a first year student is difficult; let’s face it, leaving your friends and family to join a community of people that you do not know is a scary thing. Luckily, you are not alone, it is something that we all go through, myself included and now that I have already faced these challenges, I hope to be able to pass on the knowledge that I have acquired and help you through your first year.

I am excited for this upcoming year, and am looking forward to working closely with the Aboriginal Student Office. I am also excited to meet all of you and wish you the best of luck in your academic career!  

Dayle Oster

Seanna Rose

Seannah RoseHi everyone!

My name is Seannah Rose. I am a fourth year Sociology major and English Minor, as well as a scholar of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College (PLLC). I grew up around a small rural town called Valleyview, Alberta, and consider myself extremely fortunate to have my wonderful parents and a younger sister.

Initially, I transferred to Augustana in my second year from Grande Prairie Regional College to be able to major in Sociology, as well as for the sense of community and small class sizes. When I first approached the Aboriginal Students Office, I had been hoping to learn more about the Aboriginal communities in the area, as well as about my own Aboriginality.

I am a Métis woman with an aprototypical Indigenous experience; I did not grow up with traditional aspects of Métis culture, national ties, or membership in Métis community due to the effects of colonialism and the lack of local Métis community in my area. For the longest time, I was uncertain of what my Indigenous identity meant to me, and my role within the wider Aboriginal community. However, as I became immersed in Indigenous organizations and projects with focuses on relationship building, reconciliation, and different ways of knowing, I was able to learn more about what identity means to myself, and how others experience their own identities. Personally, I have found working with peers and mentors in open and interdisciplinary settings has been instrumental of my own growing understanding about the world around me. Now I would like to offer my own experiences and understandings to others. I am really looking forward to getting to know you, to learn from you, and to offer support if ever you have questions or want to hang out. Augustana is a wonderful place to learn and explore on a path unique to you.

Best wishes in your Augustana journey,
Seannah Rose

Gavin Wilkes

Gavin WilkesI was born in Peace River AB and did most of my school years there and graduated in Peace River. I used to live in England and Fort Simpson in the NT where my mother lives and where I am from. I am a Dene First Nations from the South Slavey region, and am a member of the Liidlii Kue First Nations.

I love to act and love the whole process of creating film, television, and stage performance. The happiness I find in acting and my love for film which began at a young age has led me to be a Drama major! I also love to discuss issues and debate, influences on why I am a Philosophy minor. Outside of the academic world I enjoy weightlifting, eating healthy, soccer, badminton, tennis, chess, and reading. Stephen King is my favorite author. I enjoy multiple genres of music but most of the time you'll find classic rock on my iPhone. Pink Floyd is my absolute favourite band.

I have always loved school and enjoy it just as much now if not more. I strongly believe in constant learning and growing as an individual and can say we never truly stop growing as a person, we are always moving towards self-actualization. I like Alfred Hitchcock movies, Sergio Leone films, and like to analyze whatever I view.

Fav food is a medium rare steak, and I am always on the lookout to try new steaks and discover hidden gem restaurants that have a wicked cut of beef. I like to live a minimalist kind of lifestyle because I find with less stuff it is easier to move and travel because you have less possessions to tie you down. I hate to waste things and try to be aware of my impact on the earth and am always willing to try new things in order to be a better member to society and humanity. I have lots of goals and dreams like anyone else. I love animals, own two dogs, two cats, and two horses.

I am totally a morning person, and enjoy a coffee in the morning but more of a tea type of person throughout the day. I love a music festival and try to go to at least one a year. I prefer a small house over a large one. I am an extrovert and love being around large masses of people but still enjoy the isolation once in a while and I appreciate being alone in nature. I love all of my friends and am always eager to make more if the chance ever arises! This is my first year as a Aboriginal Student Mentor and I am excited to make a positive impact on others and myself throughout the academic year. I understand the struggles of first year and am always willing to share my experiences and offer guidance. Here's to a great year.

Gavin Wilkes