Aboriginal Students' Office

Indigenous 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 Indigenous Student Mentor Program aims to connect new First Nations, Métis and Inuit students with senior Indigenous 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.

2017 - 2018 Indigenous Peer Mentors!

Karen Dumas

KDphotoBorn and raised in the Yukon, I moved down to Alberta about ten years ago and decided I wanted to be basically a dual citizen, travelling back and forth from territory to province as much as I can. I am from a small town called Carcross (short from Caribou Crossing), and I self identify as bi-indigenous, being both Métis and full status Tlingit. I love connecting with my culture, I feel like you can always learn something new from those around you. I spent many years doing different forms of cultural dance, which I loved but I have no plans on coming out of retirement. I also do traditional beading, making mukluks and moccasins as well as making other forms of clothing and fashion wear. I love hunting, fishing, and generally being in nature. I enjoy learning new traditions from other people and sharing my traditions with those around me.

I am an English Major in love with the smell of books. My dream is to build a tiny house with my own hands that I can live in and travel the world writing novels. I love the world of literature and adventure, and I can find inspiration pretty much anywhere. I love all forms of literature and can pour myself into old novels and poetry from the Victorian Era or settle down with a contemporary piece of young adult fiction. My idea of a good night is a giant cup of coffee and something to pull apart and look at. I love a good movie night or pulling an all-nighter to finish the last chapter of that really good book I was reading. I am also a part-time mermaid and lifeguard by day. It helps pay student loans and lets me take my fins everywhere. Someday my tail and I will swim in every ocean. I am in love with anything outdoorsy, eclectic music, and crafting. There isn’t anything I really dislike (except pineapple on pizza) and I’m all about going on adventures and trying something new even if it is only one time. I am a huge thrill seeker, and I love pushing my own limits.

As a peer mentor, I love chatting with my fellow peers, sharing problems and finding resolutions. I look forward to being a source of knowledge and companionship, as well as eating all the delicious food the ASO has to offer. Gunalchéesh!

Emily MacMillan

EMphotoI am from the small town of Vermilion, AB where I lived for most of my life. I am a member of the Métis Nations of Alberta, and have recently just started to learn more about what that means. I love to learn and connect with my culture by listening to Elders share their stories, learning about the history of our traditions and practices, and of course eating traditional foods (woohoo for bannock!). The Aboriginal Students Office has taught me so much and allowed me to further my knowledge about what it means to be Metis.

I am an Kinesiology major with the end goal of becoming a physiotherapist. The human body absolutely amazes me, and I am the biggest nerd when it comes to learning about how everything works. In a couple of years I hope to be working as a physiotherapist and travelling the world. My favorite way to spend my free time is exploring this beautiful world and watching as many sunsets as I possibly can. I also love to curl up in a bunch of blankets, with a lot of ice cream, and binge watch Netflix. Music, fresh air, and lots of naps feed my soul.

As a peer mentor, I look forward to meeting all the new students and supporting them in any way I can. I don’t function without coffee, so always feel free to hit me up to chat over a couple of warm beverages. I’m looking forward to another year of great friendship, memories, and of course laughter!

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.