Autumn Bents graduation photo. Submitted by Autumn Bent.
Autumn Bents graduation photo. Submitted by Autumn Bent.
Okanagan

IndigiNews of the week: It’s Graduation Week

Your weekly roundup of news and information about what’s happening.

This week marked the end of school and we are so proud of all the graduates! In celebrations of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit graduates across the Nation check out some tidbits of information to celebrate!

News of the week

  • Check out Athena Bonneau’s article featuring graduate St̓aʔqʷaĺqs (Hailey Causton) who graduated from the University of British Columbia Okanagan with her Bachelor of Arts degree. She had a virtual graduation on June 17. “I was excited to have my boys watch me walk the stage, but maybe another time,” she says. “Not everything we plan out will necessarily work out, but being able to adapt and move forward is important.”
  • A First Nations student was honoured as McGill valedictorian after leading the fight against the ‘Redmen’ team name, according to CBC Indigenous. Tomas Jirousek, a member of the Kainai First Nation says he owes gratitude to those who came before him: “Every Indigenous student who held a position, represented us before I got there, every Indigenous student who made their voice heard on campus broke the trail a little bit more for the name change.”
  • And don’t miss Athena Bonneau’s last article in our series on graduates: ‘Congratulations to my fellow 2020 grads.’ It features Nx̌astatkʷ (Elizabeth Bent), who graduated from the Okanagan College (OC) at the Penticton campus with a Bachelor of business administration, specializing in management.

Worth your time 

Okanagan latest

  • Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services is building a housing model based on Indigenous perspectives to improve outcomes for Indigenous youth. In my latest article, a place to belong: Métis agency creates housing for youth aging out of care, I talk with executive director Colleen Lucier about the project, Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging, which is to help Indigenous youth aging out of the child welfare system.
  • For Kelsie Kilawna’s latest, coming together to celebrate summer solstice through storytelling, she attended an event put on by the Mariel Belanger and Dr. Margo Tamez with the Sqilxw Apna Society. According to Kilwana, about 30 people from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities came together to celebrate the summer solstice. 
  • Penticton Indian Band celebrates class of 2020 in a unique way, according to Athena Bonneau’s article celebrating PIB graduates. Traditional graduation ceremonies were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) education department got creative. “This year with COVID-19 has been especially different because we haven’t been able to do it in person,” Rhea Dupuis the PIB education department principal says. Instead they opted for a drive in graduation that lasted two hours. PIB graduate Julianna George explains: “It makes me even more thankful for the opportunity that was given to me because of PIB.”

That’s it for this week, if you have news or information that you want to share, email me: chehala@indiginews.com