Pursuing a future giving back to community and the land

Convocation Feature: Q&A with Julie Waine, ‘20 BA Native Studies/BSc

19 November 2020


Julie Waine will graduate Nov. 20 with a joint BA in Native Studies and BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences

Why did you choose to study Native Studies?

I come from a large Métis family which has been fortunate enough to benefit heavily from the oil and gas industry in Alberta for our livelihood. For this reason, I knew I wanted a career that would be able to help me give back to our community and land. I found the combined degree of BA Native Studies and BSc Environmental and Conservation Sciences to be the perfect solution. It piqued my interests, allowed me the option of a future career working partially outdoors, and most importantly I had family support.      

Why did you choose to study at the University of Alberta?

With a university as world-renowned as the University of Alberta, it was easy to choose to stay in my home province of Alberta. This choice was further reinforced by me being able to attend family events and gatherings throughout my education, which was really important to me.      

What was one of the most memorable experiences during your degree?

One of the most memorable experiences of my degrees was the Spring Field School for the Environmental and Conservation Science program. I got to meet a huge cohort of classmates and made a tight group of friends who I kept in touch with through the rest of my degree programs. Even though we all graduated at different times, we were able to remain close friends (despite our get-togethers having gone virtual for now).    

What advice do you have for future Native Studies students?

Apply for scholarships! My biggest piece of advice to anyone attending post-secondary education is to search and apply for scholarships. You can apply for scholarships internally and externally for the University of Alberta. Start looking in January for the upcoming fall, and make a list and reapply for them (if you can) every year of your education. Writing essays for scholarships is also great practice for writing cover letters for job applications. 

What does the future hold for you?

I am currently working full time at the Métis Archival Project Laboratory at the U of A with Dr. Frank Tough. It has been rewarding working in the field of Native Studies while finishing my degrees. I will eventually transition into the environmental field and hope to work in Indigenous and environmental consultation. I will also pursue my goal of obtaining my Professional Agrologist (PAg) designation in the near future as well.