Hometown (Nation): Métis from Ile-a-la-Crosse, S.K., but grew up in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Graduation Year: May 2014
Degree Specialization: FNIS Major, Political Science Minor
Research Practicum Topic: Urban Indigenous Social Ventures
I was drawn to a degree in FNIS because I was looking for a space in the university that I could recognize as being something that was closer to home for me. I entered UBC thinking I was going to major in economics or political science, and I was not succeeding. In fact, I was flunking out. I was honestly contemplating dropping out of university and moving home, because I felt so lost in such an unfamiliar environment. It was not until I was pushed by family members to take the Program's introductory course that I finally had that moment where I felt connected to the content I was learning, but also to my peers and professors.
My favourite class in the Program was Dr. Dory Nason’s Indigenous Feminisms course. It was honestly one of the most transformative and meaningful experiences I have had in university.
This is a really hard question to answer. I think it’s an amalgamation of meeting some of my closest friends. My peers from this Program are now my friends and community in this city. The people I met have become my home away from home.
Since I graduated from FNIS/FNSP I have become the education and programming coordinator at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.
I think students should consider FNIS as a major or minor because it is a program that offers an entirely different worldview and lens that you’re going to experience in other classes at UBC. It is a very challenging program that forces you outside of your comfort zone and really forces you to place yourself in your own contexts within the world; but it is also a very supportive environment with very approachable and helpful faculty and staff. FNIS is a one of a kind experience that will change you as a person, for the better.
First of all, it’s not as scary as it seems! It’s a lot of work and at times is very stressful, but it’s a great learning tool. I will also say that sometimes the lessons we learn are not always obvious, and that sometimes we can learn important lessons from negative or difficult situations. Your practicum may not be the experience you’re expecting, but in the end you’re going to take away very important lessons that will help you in your future careers. Also, ask for help before little situations become big situations, really everyone is there to help you through this process!