Our Cree culture guides us to “be humble in all that we do” because humility is one of the main seven tee-pee cultural teachings. At the same time, it is an excellent practice to praise our children to encourage them to be the best they can be, as we all have unique abilities and talents that we can contribute to our families, friends, & community. This is our moment to praise our community members so that the younger generations can see that they can Reach for the Stars & Follow their Dreams!
SHARING THE EXPERIENCE…
We wanted to take this opportunity to share Samantha Cardinal’s experience with everyone. Samantha is from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Treaty Six Territory and is the daughter of Sam and Earlene Cardinal.
She is in the Bachelor of Nursing Program at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Samantha was accepted to take her 3year clinical practicum in Hawaii as part of the 4 week long international placement called the Global Indigenous Child Health Field School course (NURS3124). This practicum is part of MRU’s School of Nursing program that offers experiential learning to connect local and global indigenous children’s health. Students are learning how indigenous ways of being and knowing inform their role to promote child health under the guidance of Elder Francine Dudoit, Director, Traditional Hawaiian Healing at the Waikiki Health Centre.
A quote from Samantha:
“Not only has the work in the school and drop in center been inspiring, but also the additional experiences when we are not attending clinical. I had the opportunity to attend a Global Health discussion with fourth year nursing students at the University of Hawaii. Our discussion focused on indigenous and Migrant Health. I was so nervous but I was proud to share my experiences as a First Nations individual and a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation. I think I surprised everyone when I introduced myself as Cree. This experience has also inspired me in wanting to learn and share more by attending as many conferences as I can and joining the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada so that I can advocate for our community.”
Samantha started her practicum on November 19th and she will return back to Calgary on December 19, 2015. To see more of her adventure and her group practicum, you can go to the following link – HAWAII FIELD SCHOOL: OHANA GROUP C.
On behalf of Saddle Lake Post Secondary, your Nation is very proud of you and wish you all the best. Can’t wait to see more picture and hope to see you soon.
Saddle Lake Post Secondary Staff: Bernadine Houle-Steinhauer, Director; Betty Ann Cardinal, Student Advisor; Pamela Large, Administrative Assistant
Hi there! My name is Quinn Healy and over the past 8 years, on and off, I have had the privilege of being sponsored by Saddle Lake Post-Secondary to complete my dreams of becoming a teacher. This was a long process for me but through the support of the Saddle Lake Post Secondary Program, I was able to explore my dreams and passions to find the areas in which I excelled.
I always knew I wanted to teach, to me it was a calling, a vocation, not just a job. I firmly believe that through education children are empowered to become their best selves. I am proud to be an educator who can help facilitate this belief in children, while teaching them valuable lessons about the world through the mandated curriculum. I am also a proud Aboriginal Educator. The district I teach in encourages that we teach from a First Nations perspective. Many of my colleagues didn’t understand what that means or how to go about doing so. I am no expert, yet, but I really pride myself on connecting my Aboriginal beliefs and knowledge in the classroom and helping children understand a different point of view, in connection with the mainstream teachings. Through this passion, I have been able to see not only my students feel connected to material in ways they may have not before, but I have seen my colleagues begin to think and process information differently in terms of their teaching and their own worldviews!
Thanks to the belief I had in myself, the support of SLPS and the support of those around me, my dreams became a reality. This journey was not always easy. My first degree in history came with many, many hours of reading, research and papers and the struggle at the time was very REAL! However, when I pushed deep within myself and knew this journey was a marathon, I gained the confidence and pride to know not only could I attain my dreams, but I was worth becoming what I knew I could be. For anyone thinking of beginning their journey of post-secondary education, I encourage you to start. Jut start. Start believing you’re worth it, that you can do it and eventually, like me, you’ll look back and you won’t believe it at times, but you will be exactly who and what you dreamed you could be!
IMPROVING OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH EDUCATION
Tansi, I am Jason Steinhauer a proud Saddle Lake Band member interested in completing my Business Administration Diploma (Management Stream). I am an individual that believes education is the only way to improve our community both economically and in the social issues area. I started my educational journey in 1997 when my late musum William Brertton dropped me off at Portage College in Lac La Biche and have not stopped or given up since. I have since attended Portage College, NAIT, and Keyano College.
Basic philosophy in life? My basic philosophy in life is simple, choose big goals, and work each day toward achieving the goals.
Advice to others that are contemplating on going back to school or just starting… For those preparing to go to school, be prepared for this educational journey for it is not an easy road. There are many challenges that must be overcome (even on a daily bases) in order to succeed. Do not give up, even if you fail get back up and try again. Be proud that you are trying to help yourself, your family and Saddle Lake Cree Nation by obtaining a higher education. I wish all of this year’s students a good and successful year in college.
Jason Steinhauer, Business Admin Mgmt Candidate, NAIT
ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY…
On January 13, 2010, I was honored with carrying the Olympic flame across Canada. This was an amazing experience and to know that I now am a part of world history. I ran with a group of aboriginal youth that were from Paul Band, Alexis, Enoch, and Saddle Lake Cree Nation (SLCN). This was an astonishing group of young energetic aboriginal youth and I am glad that I was able to share this opportunity with them.
Also having the support from my family, friends and community has made my experience incredible. I like to thank everyone from Saddle Lake that came out and supported Desmond and I in Vegreville, AB. I also like to thank my parents Victor & Tina Houle, and my mom and dad Mary & Eli Brertton.
This will always be an experience that I will never forget and knowing that I had the support from everyone.
Samantha Houle, Management Studies Candidate, Yellowhead Tribal College, Edmonton
She’s Following Her Dream
We wanted to send a huge Congratulations to Janice Makokis for receiving the FAAY Bursary and getting accepted to do her Internship with the Osgoode Hall Law School’s Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Governments and Resources. She was fortunate to be placed at the “International Indigenous Women’s Forum” in New York City. It is closely affiliated with the “United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)”. She will assist in the coordination of various activities related to: the Beijing 15 conference in March on Violence Against Women (An International Women’s Conference) and also prepare for the April UNPFII Forum Meeting (where Indigenous nations/peoples from all over the world will convene in NYC to discuss issues related to governance, law, self-determination, women’s rights, land, etc. in their respective countries).
Please see Janice’s published article:
Nehiyaw iskwew kiskinowâtasinahikewina – paminisowin namôya tipeyimisowin: Learning Self Determination through Sacredness
By: wahpimaskwasis (Little White Bear) Janice Alison Makokis
Canadian Woman Studies; Winter/Spring 2008; 26, 3/4; GenderWatch (GW) pg. 39
This is an excellent achievement for Janice, her family, and a positive reward for our community. Maintain Community Pride, you go girl!
Janice Makokis, BA, MA, LLB Candidate, University of Ottawa
Aboriginal Youth Internship “gains new understanding”
Pursuing my degree in International Studies at Simon Fraser University over the past year has exposed me to the diversity of First Nations cultures present on the West Coast. In an attempt to keep connected to my roots, I applied for the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP) last spring and was offered a position in the program. My intention is not only to be an Aboriginal voice in government but to integrate my experiences as a Cree youth to the projects I will be involved in.
Pushing back my graduation one year in order to pursue this AYIP position has allowed me to join a group of 25 Aboriginal youth for a 12 month internship with the British Columbia government. Our internship begins with a nine month placement in a ministry followed by a three month placement with an Aboriginal organization.
The AYIP program is designed to increase leadership capacity, education and career opportunities for Aboriginal youth. Throughout our internship year, the Aboriginal youth interns contribute to several important projects and initiatives, including developing youth engagement strategies, researching policy initiatives, creating diversity workshops, and assisting with various communications strategies and approaches.
Placements are specific to each intern’s interests and abilities. My current aspiration includes law school, as I am interested in Indigenous rights and care about strengthening Indigenous knowledge in contemporary justice systems. I was therefore, pleased to be placed with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Working primarily in the Crime Prevention Unit, I have been assigned to the Division’s Restorative Justice Program. My involvement in this area has given me a sense of connection to my First Nations roots, as restorative justice is closely linked to Indigenous values and traditions. In addition, my passion for international Indigenous issues coupled with the learning I am gaining of restorative justice practices is helping me see new possibilities for my future focus in the field of law.
The new understanding I am gaining from within the government system in addition to my perspective as a First Nations person will benefit both my own career and also the community I serve. I am grateful to Saddle Lake Education Authority for supporting my education in this way as I now have the opportunity to contribute my current skills to this AYIP placement.
Joel Cardinal, Intern for the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, BC Government