July 20th, 2024

University hosts inaugural Iniskim Future Students Day

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 28, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Prospective indigenous students take part of the inaugural Iniskim Future Students Day on Wednesday at the 1st Choice Service Centre at the University of Lethbridge.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge hosted its inaugural Iniskim Future Students Day on Wednesday at the 1st Choice Savings Centre with over 100 prospective students in attendance.

The event was named after the University of Lethbridge’s Blackfoot name Iniskim, meaning Sacred Buffalo Stone, gifted by Elder Bruce Wolf Child in 2002.

“Essentially our Iniskim Future Students Day is our Indigenous open house. It is meant to encourage indigenous students to come out and learn more about the U of L, what the opportunities are for them,” said Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer Beth Grier.

She said those in attendance were invited from all over Alberta to come, including members of the Piikani, Kainai and Siksika communities within a variety of ages.

Grier described the event as a day filled with activities that started with a welcoming and a prayer before the students made their way to the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness to interact with the various booths set up around the track.

“The booths are meant to give awareness of all our faculties and all the different programs we have here, just to give that extra bit of knowledge and then we have sessions throughout the day that are interactive,” said Grier.

 She explained that Indigenous students learn best by seeing and by doing rather than cracking open a thick book and watching a presentation, and that is why interactive activities were prepared for them.

The interactive sessions included Admissions and Scholarships, Career Bridge and Iikaisskini Indigenous Services, as well as on-the-spot admission. 

The event also provided prospective students with an opportunity to meet current Indigenous students, graduates, staff and professors to learn their experiences.

While talking about Indigenous enrolment, Grier said numbers have increased throughout the years.

“We do have quite a big community of indigenous students here,” said Grier.

One of those students is Sloane Grier, who is enrolled in the Indigenous Student Success Certificate program. She told reporters the program helped her decide which path to take.

“If you’re straight out of high school or if you have been out of school for a while, it’s a great program to ease you into university and I’m really enjoying it right now,” said Grier.

 She said the classes are great and she has made a lot of friends. She added that the fact that the program is only one year in length is good and getting a certificate at the end is great.

 “I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to get into when I was going to university. I had a bunch of ideas, so this program really gave me that year of being in school, but also learning and knowing what I wanted to get into,” said Grier.

She explained the program has two or three core classes and the rest are electives, giving the student an opportunity to choose a variety of classes to “test the waters.”

Another student present at the event who is also part of the Indigenous-led student club on campus is Aspen Northwest and she said the club helps to build community for all the indigenous people and students on campus.

When it comes to the turnout for the event, Northwest said it was very inspiring and it made her happy to see so many people interested in enrolling in post-secondary education.

“It shows initiative on the people coming back to school and the fact that this is really a good way to get off reservation, inspire younger generations as well and it’s also very healing,” said Northwest.

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The event demonstrated the university’s commitment to supporting Indigenous students on their academic journey. And for more interesting and easy learning, I can share with you https://writepapers.com/nursing-paper-writing-service. Prospective students had the opportunity to interact with current students, alumni, staff and faculty, gaining valuable perspective and advice.