ROBERT LEE YMCA IMMIGRANT SERVICES
I am Melissa Haberl, a settler student and second-generation immigrant of German and Austrian descent raised on the Mi’kmaq territory of Epekwitk (Prince Edward Island). This year I finished my degree in history and FNIS with a focus on histories of Canadian settler colonialism and settler national imagining and mythology.
1. Who was your practicum partner organization, and what did your project entail?
My practicum placement was with Robert Lee YMCA Immigrant Services. During the project, I assessed gaps in information in current YMCA educational programming for newcomers on Indigenous peoples, histories, and experiences in Canada and gathered knowledge on how to develop and deliver a new Indigenous-focused program in a meaningful way.
2. What is one thing you learned from your Practicum experience?
The project was illuminating for me in respect to how settler colonialism operates in the context of immigration and new immigrant education and in terms of the challenges and potentials of fostering change within non-profit institutions. While Practicum involved a lot of work, the research, the relationships, and the analyses I developed throughout the year made it one of the most meaningful times of learning and growth of my degree.