Alisha Jacobs, Loyell BigjohnUWindsor students Alisha Jacobs and Loyell Bigjohn are research assistants with the Indigenous Workways project, which aims to empower Indigenous youth in their careers.

Indigenous student leaders recognized during National Indigenous History Month

The Aboriginal Education Centre has been highlighting Indigenous voices from across campus during the month of June in celebration of National Indigenous History Month, which honours the history, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities, and a time for learning about, appreciating, and acknowledging the contributions First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have made in shaping Canada.

The centre has been featuring contributions of the following students, who have participated in the Indigenous Workways project. The project aims to help Indigenous youth develop tools to empower them in their current and prospective careers, and to help organizations be more inclusive of Indigenous employees by identifying and building on their positive experiences with interpersonal and organizational trust.

Alisha Jacobs, Bear Clan, is a member of the Delaware Nation – Moravian of the Thames, and holds a bachelor of commerce in economics and finance from the University of Guelph. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in human resource management from Fanshawe College, and is in her fourth year at the University of Windsor pursuing a double major in honours psychology with thesis, and honours philosophy.

Loyell Bigjohn is a member of the Walpole Island First Nation and has ancestry with the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin, as well as the Navajo Nation of Arizona. He holds a UWindsor honours BA in history with a minor in geography, and is currently in his second year of study at UWindsor’s Faculty of Education.

Both Jacobs and Bigjohn are currently working as research assistants with Indigenous Workways.

”Alisha and Loyell’s contributions to the project are vital as they bring knowledge, insights, and lived experiences that are directly relevant to the project and therefore help to guide project activities,” says Catherine Kwantes, co-principal investigator on the Indigenous Workways project and Cultures of Trust lead investigator.

Kat Pasquach, Aboriginal outreach and retention co-ordinator, says it is important to highlight the contributions of Indigenous students on campus.

 “We took time this month to reach out to members of the community that work with the Aboriginal Education Centre to share their voices. I am incredibly proud of the commitment that our students have made towards their education and the work they are doing with the Indigenous Workways project,” she says.

“Loyell and Alisha have been an important part of the community here at UWindsor. They participate with the Aboriginal Education Centre and both have been a strong voice for students. They are fantastic leaders and role models to their communities.”

More stories and highlights can be found on the Facebook site of the Aboriginal Education Centre.