June 18th, 2024

Indigenous students welcomed to college campus

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 4, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Brittany Lee, Career and Academic Advising Indigenous Focus, helps new students get their bearings to campus life and resources during the Winter Welcome session Tuesday at Lethbridge College.

Winter holidays are wrapping up and post-secondary students are getting ready for another semester in Lethbridge.

Lethbridge College hosted its New Student Orientation with several programs welcoming students back on Jan. 3-4.

On Tuesday, Indigenous Services held its Winter Welcome getting students ready for the semester, helping enhance their upcoming time on campus with helpful information and resources.

“Our New Students Welcome for Indigenous students is for them to come and learn a little about the processes that need to be done before they start classes, picking up books, getting their selfie-ID, and how to get registered in classes,” said Brittany Lee, Career and Academic Advising – Indigenous Focus. “We will also be focusing on a lot of the cultural programming that we are going to be doing next semester. As well as things like how to connect with certain elders, things we will be doing throughout the semester, events like bannock-on-a-stick or Frybread Fridays. We introduced something last year, our graduation powwow that we might be doing again this year, and Stone Pipe Days. It is connecting students to all of these resources in order to help them feel part of the Indigenous community here on campus.”

Understanding the importance of community and feeling welcome, Indigenous Services helps connect students with a community while away from home.

“It is very important to feel that you are part of a community and feel like you have somewhere to go for cultural questions. Not everybody is connected to their culture, so to have that resource available on campus while going to school is significant for a lot of people,” said Lee. “Not all Indigenous students have been connected to their community. To have somebody available to connect very easily with, without having to go search it out or look elsewhere, it is important to be able to get that guidance.”

With classes resuming for the Winter Semester Jan. 5, Indigenous Services is ready to welcome back new and old students to the campus.

“We are all about relationships, making sure that we are all connected on the same page, embracing everybody’s ability to chat together and come up with problem solving solutions for things that arise. How we can best support the students, we are all very open people and have great discussions about what needs to happen,” said Lee.

Helping spread awareness for Indigenous culture on campus and connecting students with community, Indigenous Services is ready for the start of another semester and all the students that will come through their doors.

“Students can come and see Lowell Yellowhorn (Indigenous Services Manager), Marni Hope (Indigenous Student Support and Event Coordinator), or I in the offices down in the Indigenous Services wing. My office is CE 1370 and people usually just drop by, my office doors are open,” said Lee. “I’m just so excited for the semester to start and to see all the students, I love meeting all the new ones.”

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