I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Territory on which we are gathered, a welcoming place for peoples from around the world. I would like to acknowledge the First Peoples whose footsteps have marked this territory for centuries the: Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux. In the spirit of my ancestors, "kinanâskomitin" (thank you — I am grateful to you) I believe in the recognition of the First Peoples and the gathering of all peoples, is how we can truly uplift the whole people.
Tânisi osâwâw acâhkos nehiyaw iskwew niya Kehewin Cree Nation ochi niya. Hello, my spirit name is ‘yellow star’, and I am a Cree woman from Kehewin Cree Nation. It is important that I introduced myself in Cree because it grounds me in who I am, where I come from and who I am accountable to. I am truly humbled and thankful for this opportunity to be present for the First Nation, Métis and Inuit students while they are on their academic journey at the University of Alberta.
My hope is that students self-declare their ancestry. My decision to declare my First Nation status upon my admission to the U of A was simple — I wanted the University community to know I was here … that I as a Nehiyaw Iskwew, and that I counted.
I am dedicated to:
- Supporting, guiding and delivering holistic support to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students on campus.
- Connecting First Nation, Métis and Inuit traditional knowledge keepers to students and the campus community when requested.
- Supporting in the development of institutional culture, space, systems and support that nurtures access and success for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Students.
- Collaborating campus wide and actively participate in committees where First Nation, Métis and Inuit matters are predominant.
- Supporting projects and collaborating with First Nation and Métis and Inuit organizations off campus to establish innovative new projects when invited.
- Connecting and nurturing relationships with Elders and community members.
- Supporting and establishing a First Nation and Métis and Inuit ASSC alumni group.
All of these responsibilities are deeply-rooted in a holistic way of being with balance in all things while on your journey through life. No different in supporting the First Nation, Métis and Inuit students of campus in a holistic way along with nurturing those relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
Balance in all aspects of life is essential to our well-being so my suggestion to you is to GET ACTIVE! Please take advantage of the wide range of fitness programs and intramural programs that Recreation Services on campus has to offer! I have taken classes that I never thought I would have in my lifetime such as; Pilates, yoga, muscle/strength & endurance to BOOT CAMP and ZUMBAAA!! Miyo-pimâtisiwin!! (living the good life)
More importantly, I believe that practicing traditional ways and sharing traditional knowledge on campus will provide the space to bring together the larger campus community to engage, educate, and embrace our communal history!
Ototemihtowinihk (in friendship)