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Indigenous Career Journey Stories

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Deborah
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Indigenous Career Journey Stories: Deborah L. Smith

"The road has been a long one and filled with many stops and starts. I would say never be afraid of having to do things over and over again because failure is not weakness or "bad". It's a way to know how to move forward." Read more to follow Deboarah's story. 

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Come Witness the Annual Indigenous Success Stories Event

SFU First Nations Student Association (FNSA) invites you to come and witness this annual event. Indigenous storytellers will share their journeys of success, expressing the adversity and perseverance faced along the way. Don't miss this chance to engage in the SFU Indigenous community as well as those closely connected to SFU!

Marlana and her family
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Indigenous Career Journey Stories: Marlana “Kaneratenhawi” Thompson-Baker

My professor explained, learn the things you don't know, don't waste your time learning what you already know and don't waste time reinventing the wheel. Read Marlana's story of hard work and determination!

Two hands holding each other
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John Howard Society - Hobden House

Theresa did her co-op as a residence worker.  She shares about her learning experiences and her future goals.

Tracy smiling
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Student Success Story: Tracy Ned

"I will continue to encourage students out there to dream and that its okay to be scared but don’t’ let that fear hold you back." Read Tracy's story of determination, will and understanding oneself. 

Trina
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Student Success Story: Trina Setah

"In all of my years, I worked to be well known, respected and network with many people.  Those networks proved to be worth-while as I worked my way up the ladder.  It pays to make good connections that has strategically helped me out when I needed them." 

malcolm smiling near a tent
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Student Success Story: Malcolm Key

"I currently hold a diploma from College; however, I have just enrolled into University to acquire a degree. My mom received her Master’s at 52 and so I’m now 48 and it’s my turn to go back to school!" Read Malcom's story of understanding his Indigenous status, and continuing his education.

Lindsay Wainwright
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Community Engagement Clarifies Career Choice

Meet Lindsay Wainwright, 32, who has already completed her second year of medical school at UBC even though she is just graduating with her SFU B.Sc. this June.

Sheryl and family
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Student Success Story: Sheryl Thompson

"My big picture goal is to work in policy to strengthen the health and well being of Aboriginal Peoples by working to combine Aboriginal children, families, communities and health into a single concept that is so interconnected that they can not be teased apart to be treated as independent entities." Read Sheryl's story of determination, and continuing her education as an adult and mother.

Aboriginal Community equity services logo; a red turtle
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Betsy Turtle Bruyere

Meet Betsy Turtle Bruyere, an entrepreneur and educator who understands the value of hard-work and determination. Read their story, as they share their journey growing up, overcoming adversity, and exploring different careers in education in order to uplift other indigenous peoples and communities. 

Barry smiling
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Barry Vickers

University, many people once told me, is the best time of your life. Yes, there is something to be said about being broke and stressed out with deadlines and exams.

Deboarah smiling
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Deborah Jeffery

“I always return to the words of Indigenous scholar, Eber Hampton, that we need to design an education system ‘worthy of our ancestors and our children,’” Read Deboarah's story of continuing education, determination and a drive to give back to the community.

Michelle smiling
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Michelle Corfield

Work hard nothing in life is easy, be honest to yourself and others and maintain your principles and values. Read Michelle's story of determination, hard-work and success. 

David in traditional clothing during a powwow
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David Neel, Jeweler and Artist

David Neel of the Kwakiutl tribe has been making Native design jewelry for 25 years. He descends from a family of first nations aritsts, including: Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. A multi-media artist, David Neel makes rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets, in addition to Canadian Aboriginal art, such as masks, totem poles, paddles, bentwood boxes and paintings under the David Neel Studio. Here is an interview with him about his jounrey to become an independently employed artist and jeweler.  

The Indigenous Research Institute logo
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Indigenous Research Institute SFU; David Gaertner

Here in his own words "How a White Guy got His Start in Indigenous Studies".

Indigenous research institute logo
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John R Welch

The Indigenous Research Institute  promotes research in areas related to Indigenous peoples read about on of its Researchers and his work.

Garwill Law: Wayne smiling
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Wayne D. Garnons-Williams, BA, LLB, MPA

Garwill Law founder Wayne Garnons-Williams describes how he came to be inspired to practice law, and adds advice on how to hang out your own shingle.

Kelvin Redvers
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Kelvin Redvers; Award-Winning Aboriginal Filmmaker and Television Producer

Kelvin Redvers is a multiple award-winning Aboriginal filmmaker and television producer. Attending Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on full scholarship, Redvers continued film work on both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal topics, continually achieving success at film festivals in Canada and abroad. Read Kelvin's story to learn more about his climb to success.

Mike smiling
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Captain Michael F. Harris

“Our Native Bows and Arrows today, are now Education, being clean of Alcohol and Drugs, Respect for Self and all Creator gives us, Non-Racist attitudes, Good hard work in attitude and job at hand, Love and Caring for Mother Earth and all Beings, through God Our Creator. Aho." - Michael F. Harris

Michelle smiling next to the words; Indigenous Journey Stories
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Michelle Martinson

Despite dealing with the challenges of being a full time mom, I did manage to do some upgrading and a few courses while my kids were little. In 2014, I intend to run for president of the British Columbia Nurses Union.

Jodie smiling
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Jodie-Lynn Waddilove: Indigenous Journey Story

Maclean's Magazine named Jodie-Lynn as "One of Canada’s Top 100 Under 30 to watch in the new millennium.” Her career as a lawyer has been nothing but inspirational.

image of steve smiling
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Steve Sxwithul’txw

"Finding my path to success is a cliché. It’s what you are willing to do to sacrifice to get ahead and make a life to which you feel proud of. That is why I continue chasing the dream of being happy and fulfilled.” - Steve Sxwithul’txw

three images of ernie smiling
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Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership FNSA Aboriginal Criminology Series

The FNSA Aboriginal Criminology Series Perspectives on Leadership and Policing is on January 28th at SFU Harbour Centre. Join them to hear from Sgt. Ernie Louttit. After 27 years with the Saskatoon Police Service, he is retiring and publishing his memoirs.

Theresa Contois
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Ojibwa Business Owner, Theresa Contois

Theresa Contois is a Coast Salish business owner. She took possession of Marmalady catering company November 1st and is in the process opening a café in January. Here is an interview touching on various aspects of her business experience.

Nalaga O'brian
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Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw Artist and Business Owner, Nalaga

Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw artist, Nalaga O'Brien's inspiring journey as she starts her own company and finds her life's purpose.

Quote: "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't"
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An Education

I have discovered that learning from others, is the greatest way to avoid making mistakes; and listening to others with the intention to truly understand, is the greatest way to gain a real education; after all… “An education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he/she learned in school”.

Alissa smiling
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Indigenous Student Success Story: Alissa Derrick

Alissa Derrick is from the Wet’suwet’en Nation located in Moircetown, British Columbia. She is currently in her last year here at SFU, working towards a double minor in Criminology and First Nation Studies.

Randy
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Randy Jack

Randy Jack is from the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. He is now an outreach worker with the Vancouver Recovery Club.Here is a series of question and answers to learn more about his education and career experiences.

Portrait of Kevin Redvers
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Behind The Scenes: Interviewing CTV's Kelvin Redvers | Part Two

An avid watcher of HBO and AMC hit shows like Dexter, Game of Thrones and Mad Men, I often daydreamed about what it would be like to work in the film and television industry. Lucky for me, I was able to interview Kelvin Redvers, a young television producer at CTV. This is part 2 of a 2-part series.

A photo of Crystal Morris speaking a SFU Conference
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SFU Indigenous Speakers: Crystal Morris

Crystal Morris shares her education and career journey, which has included a wide variety of roles in government, and the private sector, and how they brought her to where she is today.

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