Testimonials for Nicole McKay

I loved the program I attended!! I was excited to share the knowledge I learned with others. I was also able to listen to many topics talked about with an open mind and new understanding!!

I chose to come back to Confederation College because of the Aboriginal Community Advocacy program. I read the various Course Descriptions with all the aboriginal content incorporated. I wanted to learn further regarding the aboriginal perspective, as well as learning about the Euro-Canadian perspective combination. I felt it was important to learn both perspectives because of the significance of the Canadian’s treaty with First Nations people of Canada.

The staff of Negahneewin College, my Program Coordinator and my other professors were such a strong support in my success as a college student. They were tough when it came to getting work completed, but were fair and worked with me throughout my time at the College. They took the time to listen and to help with my studies to ensure I understood the content. They were my positive experience of attending College. I had the confidence and support to be able to go out into the community and work with other people because of the staff’s support for me as a college student.

During my first year of College, I attended a different program and did not do well. Had I not received the support from the staff, I would not have had the courage to come back to the college. I did learn from my first year experience. It made me a stronger person, and I was able to move past that negative experience and make a new better experience for myself and for my family.

The Aborginal Community Advocacy program taught me to work hard, to look further in detail and the good of situations. I learned many new skills for the work force, and also for my personal life. I have had many memories, good and bad. The important memories I will have of the college is how the staff in the College, specifically in the Negahneewin College area were there to provide me with support and encouragement, willing to help and share their time to help a student, to ensure they get the support needed to finish. The Book Store staff were always friendly and helpful to me too. I was so impressed with the staff of Tim Horton’s, the downstairs staff, Lori & Laura who just about knew what everyone liked in their coffee’s or tea’s, and they were so friendly. Those people make it inviting to be at the College. When our class held a public gathering in the student lounge for our project, I was thankful to the College for their support. The College staff who came in and helped our cause made it so meaningful when we completed our project.

The education I received from the Aboriginal Community Advocacy program was to advocate in a proactive way, to be effective while holding onto the need and focus of the person(s). I will continue to learn and this was a good place to start.

As I write this, I am working with the “Remember Me” project. This project is working with the families and friends of murdered and missing aboriginal women of this NWO region. My responsibilities is to work with the Coordinator in connecting the relationships with the OPP, TBay Police, with the Crown Attorneys, and the families of the murdered and missing women. The project involves working with four communities, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, and Kenora to bring light and educate the public about the murdered and missing women. The project is also an healing outlet for the families and friends of the murdered and missing women of NWO. There are symposiums that will take place in the fall of 2010, and part of my job will be to help prepare for these gatherings. I have assisted with workshops in the local Thunder Bay high schools. There we did a series of art work geared towards the Remember Me project. The students used the art work as a form of expression about the project and will be showcased during the fall symposiums in the four communities. The project is working with the community, and I am thankful to have the skills to be able to do so.

I am still learning and what I was taught in school is a good stepping stone to continue to learn. Knowing that I am helping someone in a small way is a great satisfaction.

My advice for others is do not give up! It takes hard work and perseverance and to always remember there are people there to support you in achieving your goal. You are not alone. I was fortunate to have had the support and I know my support wasn’t only for me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is always someone there wanting to help. Utilize the resources in the college, the computers, the printers, and the study time.

I perceive that the most sought-after qualifications and talents that employers are currently seeking in this field of work include policy analysis, research, knowledge of cross-cultural relations, ability to work with minimal supervision with major work loads. I heard about the study time with tutors. I did not advantage of this, but it is a good thing to have available for the students. The library was a huge resource, the access to the computers, research material, and printers was good to be able to complete papers and assignments. I learned about the Blackboard Learning Software and used it a lot.

Continue to support programs such as the Aboriginal Community Advocacy program. I feel it is important to have the aboriginal content incorporated with what is “normally” taught. The content that is covered is not taught in primary and secondary schools, I’ve heard many people (both aboriginal and non-aboriginal) mention that they wish this information of the Aboriginal content was taught at those levels. I have seen many Aboriginal Law & Advocacy alumni across NWO working hard with the community they are in. That is so awesome!

I was able to come back to Confederation College and with the opportunity to finish the Aboriginal Law & Advocacy program (now know as Aboriginal Community Advocacy program). I learned new skills for the work force, knowledge in the what was taught in the program, and my personal growth as an individual, and the strength to overcome barriers. I knew I had to push myself to complete what I started.

Nicole McKay

Graduation Year:
Job Title:
Remember Me Project
Beedaubin Art
Aboriginal Community Advocacy