Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the collaboration of our many partners, we have successfully implemented many different programs, ranging from the training of Crees for skilled jobs with Hydro-Quebec (over 50 Crees now occupy permanent positions), the rejuvenation of Cree community and family fisheries, the support of numerous cultural activities including summer gatherings and the enhancement of goose hunting facilities. This is not to mention the hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile and ATV trails already built throughout Eeyou Istchee.
On its 20th anniversary, Niskamoon Corporation salutes The Nation magazine and wishes it many more years of success and positive change.
Watchiyaa from Thunder Bay, Ontario
I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity of being able to go to post-secondary education institutions. I left home with nothing but the clothing on my back and my two children. In pursuit of higher education. I moved away from home even though I did not know anyone in Thunder Bay. I was very strategic when making the decision to go to school. I decided to go to where I did not have move once done college. I did not know why I thought I could to go to university. All I know now is that I loved learning. Going to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay would mean not having to make a transition to another city. I was particularly interested in pursuing education and counselling.
Being an Indian in the city was not always easy but in the education system being Indian had its advantages. As I progressed in university, I used the Aboriginal worldview, culture, language and traditional knowledge to teach others. Although, I live in the city, translation to English is my best tool. I am Cree, my thoughts are in Cree, my worldview is Cree teachings and I hold them dearly close to my heart, I just learned to live Cree in the white-man's world.
To date, I have earned two college diplomas – one in General Arts and Science and one in the Mental Health Program. After I was done college, I decided to go to university, which I was able to obtain two university degrees, a major in Sociology and Indigenous Studies. I learnt so much about myself in that time frame. I was learning to be responsible. I was in charge of my destiny. I was learning to become an adult. I was learning how to survive in this world without much support from my family. I learned the hard way with many challenges. Finally, I stopped depending on my family to send me money, if I went broke before the end of the month. I paid rent, paid utilities and expenses related to living. I gained experience in living life to the fullest. I became a person who I never knew before.
I am grateful for the many years that I was supported to go to school by Cree School Board. Our young people's dreams are worth acknowledgement for they are our best investment for the future. I have had many employment opportunities to work in the field of education and training.
Today, I can and want to give back. Finally I can share my knowledge and skills that I have acquired through the support of the Cree School Board. Today, I am committed to share my knowledge and not be afraid to say that I lived on the Cree School Board post-secondary program for many years – in order to become a part of the helping field. I look forward to that opportunity.
Cree School Board I was a worthwhile investment because I am doing okay. I work hard to earn my living; better yet, I get paid for what I enjoy doing on a day-to day-basis...because of someone's vision of our youth. I am okay.
Thunder Bay, Ontario