Being an Indigenous student comes with its own unique set of experiences.
In the era of ‘Reconciliation’, post-secondary education has become the catalyst for change within our communities; the bridge between two systems of knowledge, and the foundation on which we’ve begun to create understanding.
It’s also a delicate balance between retaining one’s identity and pursuing one’s dreams. For many of us, it is a constant struggle between voicing our opinion and becoming a spokesperson, between sharing culture and becoming entertainment, between creating our own path and honouring our traditions.
It’s a strange feeling to discuss residential schools historically as if they aren’t our grandparents, aunts, and uncles were talking about. It’s even more odd to discuss Indigenous peoples in Canada and their traditions while sitting in a class as an Indigenous person still following those same traditions.
As we make our way through higher education and work together towards Reconciliation, we must find a way to first reconcile our own paths. To walk in our journey holding the knowledge of both worlds in balance. To learn from and with each other. Reconciliation starts here. Reconciliation starts with you, and it starts with me.
GPRC Wolves Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Mandy Botham has been working to build onto her talented roster for this upcoming season. She is pleased to announce the signing of a new Grimshaw recruit to the program.
Say hello to Jeannie Borger as we welcome her to the pack.
Hailing from Grimshaw, Alberta, Jeannie represented the her high school, Grimshaw Public School this past basketball season with pride.
She is excited to join the wolf pack and start her post-secondary journey at GPRC where she is interested in pursuing her Bachelor of Education.
“GPRC is close to home,” said the new rookie. “I am looking forward to being part of a solid team, meeting new people and have new opportunities both academically and athletically.”
Head Coach Mandy Botham is looking forward to having Forward, Jeannie out on the court in the upcoming season.
“I am pleased to add Class of 2019 forward Jeannie Borger to our roster for the upcoming season,” said Coach Botham. “Jeannie plays with a grit and tenacity that immediately boosts our rim protection. She is a versatile athlete who excels both in and outside the paint. We are looking forward to welcoming her to the team.”
Most of us can think back to a favourite memory, often from childhood, that brings us great joy. We remember this as a fond but distant memory. Often, we look refer to it as the “good ole days”.
As I have gotten older and fun activities have had to be put on hold often due to money and other commitments, you find yourself trying to figure out when it all changed. My favourite memories are of camping in the summer, especially as a child at Spring Lake just outside Hythe and LaGlace. It was a “simpler” time in my thought as a kid. Another favourite summer memory is when I was 14 and I lived the summer here in Grande Prairie with my grandmother, I had since moved to Kamloops with my family, but Grande Prairie has always been home to me. That summer I volunteered, made friends that I still have today and simply just had a relaxing enjoyable summer that I could just take it all in. The trip up to Grande Prairie was with one of my mom’s childhood best friends and we took the road from Kamloops to Dawson through the Pine Pass; it was the first time I had ever been that way and I have only been that way one other time since then. My next favourite summer memory was that of the last camping trip I took to Spring Lake. I spent the time with my children and took memorable pictures of my favourite childhood camping place.
That was the last time I went to Spring Lake. That year the ownership had changed and there were to be a lot of changes and I could not bear that it would not be the same for my children. I wanted to remember it the way it was in a “simpler” time. A time where kids ran and parents did not worry as much. Catching the abundant of frogs that no longer infest those waters. Campfire cooked meals, smores, or just burnt marshmallows. Those were the days…
As we become adults, we realize these were not necessarily “simpler” times. They are not free. Parents have to work to make these vacations happen and it becomes a lot of work to balance paying bills and vacations. Even a “simple” camping trip seems to run a few hundred dollars after paying for wood, and the campsite. Not to mention if you did not have the gear or a camper. As I think about this I realize my kids have similar memories of “simpler” times in their minds, but now as an adult, I realize they are not necessarily simpler, but it is these cherished memories we carry with us and I realize that is all that matters. It’s not about trying to keep that feeling you had during those favourite summers but rather creating new ones and enjoying them for what they are and not looking back to recreate it. My goal for the next couple of years is to find the “simple” moments and enjoy them for what they are.
Let go of the past and recall the memories for what they are; fond, happy, joyful, simple…
What is your favourite summer memory?
Submitted by Student Ambassador, Heather Crichton.
During my post-secondary journey, I had the opportunity to complete the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, which is offered through the Pace Centre here in Grande Prairie. In the last five years depression and psychological disorder rates for young people have increased substantially. With this increase comes the need for an increase in awareness about the signs and symptoms related to mental health illnesses and diseases. Mental health illness and disease can affect anyone, mental health disorders impact people of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic statuses. Unfortunately, many people suffering from the symptoms feel afraid or ashamed to discuss their situation because they feel that society labels those suffering mental health as being unfit or incapable. The stigma surrounding mental health prevents individuals from seeking a professional or even reaching out to others for help. As a community, raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of mental health illness and disease is crucial. Mental Health First Aid provided me a better understanding of how to communicate with someone demonstrating the signs and symptoms. Raising awareness on mental health disorders within the community will create a supporting, positive environment for everyone and will potentially save lives. The crippling stigma attached to mental health is a concern we all, as a community, need to work together to address in order to allow these individuals to receive the help they need.
The five basic actions of MHFA are:
Assess the risk of suicide and/or harm
Give reassurance and information
Encourage person to seek appropriate medical/professional help
Encourage other supports- friends, family, support groups, etc.
This course allowed me to feel more confident in my abilities to assist someone struggling with mental health. On a daily basis, I intend on being more aware of those around me, a simple conversation can change someone’s life. For more information on the MHFA course, you can contact Pace or talk to the Continuing Education staff at GPRC, or the staff involved with Peer Counselling at GPRC.
Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Natasha Getz.