Hometown: Calgary, AB
Graduation Year: May 2013
Degree Specialization: FNIS Major
Research Practicum Topic: Engaging with processes of community-building and the role of small community-based organizations in alleviating feelings of isolation and fragmentation
I took an introduction to First Nations Studies course purely for interest’s sake; however, once I got into it I was completely blown away by all of things that I didn’t know, all of the beliefs I had grown up with that I wasn’t even aware that I had, and the various forms of systemic oppression that worked to shape and uphold my position within society. The class changed the way that I thought about myself and taught me how to critically engage with the world around me. There really wasn’t any going back so I decided to pursue a major in First Nations Studies.
My favourite class was FNIS 452: Indigenous Social Movements.
My best memories are simply of the connections that I made with people while in the Program. It’s hard to narrow down on any one in particular.
I am currently working on an MA in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.
The Program does an amazing job of fostering a strong and supportive community of students and professors and of encouraging and developing a wide range of interests within the Program, which is inspiring and contributes to a more effective learning environment. I also feel as though the Program did an amazing job of preparing me for the challenges of tackling an MA. For those students who are thinking of pursuing studies beyond their undergrad, First Nations Studies is a great choice. The connections you make with professors as well as the experience of practicum are all incredibly helpful in preparing for graduate studies.
Just try to enjoy and trust in the process. You will probably feel completely overwhelmed a lot of the time, but it will all come together in the end and you will have a ton of support along the way.