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Academic News

I Am Indigenous

December 3, 2019

We believe that what we’re doing is working when it comes to fostering an environment where our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, but we also believe we can and must do more to expand and enhance initiatives supporting our College community, as well as acknowledge and celebrate the unique differences that makes Red River Colleges so special.

Historically, Indigenous people faced barriers in the workplace and educational institutions. Declaring your Indigenous status — First Nations, Métis and Inuit — allows Red River College to maintain accurate information, supports the development of strategies, programming and practices, ensures under-represented groups are given the opportunity to participate equitably, and tells the College community you are proud to be Indigenous!

Here’s why some of your friends and peers are proud to declare their Indigenous identity:

I Am Métis

I am Métis and very proud of my strong Métis heritage, which guides my values. I believe strongly in my culture and the importance of working together for the success and empowerment of the next seven generations.

Tracy Brant
Pathway Liaison, School of Indigenous Education

I Am Algonquian, French Canadian and Polish

There was a time when I was afraid to say who I am when I was required to self-declare — now, with pride I check off the boxes for woman and Indigenous person. I have realized it does matter to represent who you are, as my roots and gender are who I am and are important.

Monica Morin
Indigenous Liaison, Indigenous Student Support and Community Relations

I Am Cree and Métis

It’s important to hold on to my Cree and Métis ancestral heritage — and to pass on the value of knowing where we come from and our history to our students — so we can move forward in a proud and meaningful manner.

I am an RRC alumnus and I want to show our students there is a path that can help them move forward in their academic journey and into a better life.

Marshall “Shash” Richard
Navigation Coach, Indigenous Student Support and Community Relations

I Am Anishinaabe, Inninew and Métis

I am a proud Anishinaabe, Inninew and Métis woman. I want people to know that I am proud of my heritage and that I play a significant role in creating training and employment opportunities for students. I also want to help demystify stereotypes. I am Indigenous, I am educated, and I am making a difference.

Rebecca Chartrand
Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy

I Am Ojbwe

Maria Morrison nindizhinikaaz. Mishkosiminiziibiing nindoonjibaa. I am a mixed-blood Ojbwe woman and a band member of Big Grassy River First Nation in Treaty #3. Some aspects of how I define myself have changed over time, like becoming a mother or RRC employee, but my Indigenous identity has been with me all along and is an evolving journey of discovery and learning. Being proud of the uniqueness of who you are is key to confidence and happiness in all that you do.

Maria Morrison
Director, Indigenous Student Support and Community Relations

I Am Cree

I am very proud of my Cree culture and history here in Manitoba.

Despite the many challenges I have encountered in establishing my connections to my culture, I believe that encouraging diversity at the College will help all of us appreciate our own culture and encourage others to go back to their roots to find out more about where they came from. To me, diversity provides different solutions to the same problem and a chance to explore each other’s unique perspectives.

Frank Parkes
Transition to Employment Manager, Indigenous Student Support and Community Relations

If you’d like to self-declare your diversity, contact Priyani Mediwake, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, or fill out a form in person at the Indigenous Support Centers (F205 NDC, P407 EDC).

Find out more about our Diversity Matters campaign ›