Tourism – Global Travel graduate cannot wait to hit the road as a Fleming Grad Recruiter

vivienne-maxwellIt is obvious what Tourism – Global Travel graduate Vivienne Maxwell is looking forward to most as a Fleming College Grad Recruiter: getting to travel across Ontario!

“I love to travel and I am looking forward to seeing the scenery in my own province for my next adventure,” said Vivienne, who will be speaking with prospective students across Ontario about Fleming College. “I’m most looking forward to experiencing new places in Ontario that I’ve never been before.”

In addition to the travel opportunity, Vivienne decided to work as a Grad Recruiter to develop her skills while staying close to the Fleming community.

“Keeping my ties with Fleming was important to me and perhaps I wasn’t quite ready to go… This position was a great way to stay connected but also move forward into a new position,” said Vivienne, who graduated from Fleming this year. “Secondly, I knew this position would help me build on professional skills, such as time management, marketing and organization.”

Vivienne also plans to utilize her networking skills, which she developed in the Tourism – Global Travel program at Fleming.

“Networking myself was one of the biggest lessons that I took away from college,” said Vivienne. “Due to the field placement portion of my program, I was able to build strong connections within the college and within the community that eventually led me to employment opportunities.”

Vivienne loves the tight-knight, small community vibe at Fleming, adding that, “I always knew my professors and peers personally. We built great relationships that I will continue to nurture into the future.”

Outside of her program, Vivienne also made friendships in the Indigenous Student Lounge.

“Hands-down, my favourite spot on campus is the Indigenous Lounge. Not only did I make lifelong friendships in this safe space, I learned so much about Indigenous cultures and found a place that truly felt like home on campus,” she said. “Anyone is welcome in the Lounge; it is a place to bridge the differences we share and sincerely respect one another. Sometimes school can be stressful and this environment allowed me to escape the hustle and bustle of the halls and feel at peace.”

Vivienne is looking forward to spreading the word about Fleming College as a Grad Recruiter. Her key points for endorsing Fleming include great specializations, strong reputation in many industries, and faculty who are professionals with strong networks.

“I’m constantly hearing how employers are looking for Fleming graduates,” said Vivienne. “This is why you should come to Fleming. If you’re willing to put in the work, you will be successful here.”

Alaura Jopling wants to inspire a new post-secondary beginning for high school students

alaura-joplingAlaura Jopling’s post-secondary journey did not start with Fleming College, which is why she decided to become a Grad Recruiter with Student Recruitment.

“I want to educate and inspire the young students who are starting to apply to post-secondary because, had I known then what I know now, my journey would have a completely different beginning,” said Alaura.

After graduating from high school, Alaura entered university, which she describes as very large and made her feel like a “number.” Although she did enjoy the social aspect, she struggled academically at university.

“When I got to Fleming, it was the polar opposite,” said Alaura, who took the Business Administration – Marketing program. “My favourite thing about Fleming is that class sizes are around thirty students; faculty know you by name and even get to know you as not only a student, but as a future business person. They want you to succeed– not only in your future career, but in life.”

At Fleming, Alaura said she learned about her field of study, gained hands-on experience through assignments and her Applied Project with the Innovation Cluster, and grew as a person while exploring her strengths and weaknesses.

She said her favourite spot on campus is the library, which she started using after realizing most of her classmates were studying there.

“I knew that if I really wanted to succeed, I needed to be a part of this group,” she said. “I went there almost every day– before classes, after classes and even on my days off. The atmosphere was perfect. We would study together, quiz one-another and even teach one another.”

She feels Fleming really does live up to the promise of “Learn, Belong, Become,” and thanks everyone in the Fleming community who helped her succeed.

“After having that first negative post-secondary experience, I wasn’t sure that I was going to succeed. Fleming taught me how to be confident again; how to use my own uniqueness and skills in the field, and how it would set me apart from others. I learned the best way to be me and that truly is the best outcome I could have hoped for,” she said. “The best thing I learned while attending Fleming was that I am capable, I am intelligent, and I can – and am going to – succeed.”

Forestry Technician graduate Eric Butson will represent Frost Campus as a Grad Recruiter

ericForestry Technician graduate Eric Butson is looking forward to representing Frost Campus when he travels across Ontario this fall. Eric is a Grad Recruiter for Student Recruitment and will be sharing information about Fleming College with prospective students.

“What I’m looking forward to most as a Grad Recruiter is the opportunity to help secondary school students realize their potential and share with them the opportunities to grasp that potential at Fleming,” said Eric, who graduated from the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences this year.

Eric said he learned to embrace his weaknesses and face his fears head-on while at Fleming, which he said is the best way to grow personally and professionally.

To clear his mind, Eric said he loves visiting the Loggersports practice site, which is his favourite spot on campus. “It is a place where I spent many nights working hard to perfect my events, clearing my head and escaping the grind of academics for a little while,” he explained.

In addition to Loggersports and his studies in the Forestry Technician program, Eric also worked as a Student Ambassador for Student Recruitment, giving campus tours to prospective students, welcoming guests at Fleming’s Open House, and more.

“Getting to show individuals that are interested in your college what makes it so special to you hardly seemed like work,” he said. “As a Grad Recruiter, I get to hold a similar position and connect with so many more prospective students on a different platform.”

So what makes Fleming so special for Eric? The campus culture.

“My faculty and peers truly wanted everyone to succeed and it was a refreshing experience,” he said. “When speaking with prospective students, the reason I believe they should come to Fleming is because it is a unique college that blends excellence in academics with a student life experience for all individuals.”

Graduation gowns and medicine wheels; why many Fleming College graduates wore a medicine wheel pin at convocation

Indigenous Student Services Coordinator Ashley Safar at convocation
Indigenous Student Services Coordinator Ashley Safar at convocation

Every year at convocation, a representative from Indigenous Student Services will stand before graduates to acknowledge that Fleming College is situated on Michi Saagiig lands and the traditional territory covered by the Williams Treaty and Treaty Number 20, and thank the Michi Saagiig peoples for allowing us to work in their territory. But at this year’s ceremonies, many in the sea of graduates adorned their gown with a medicine wheel pin to acknowledge the rights of Indigenous peoples.

At the Frost Campus and Sutherland Campus convocation ceremonies, Indigenous Student Services staff and volunteers congratulated graduates before the ceremony and gave them the opportunity to sign a declaration. The declaration states, “By signing above, I am making a declaration to move forward in my professional and personal life as a person who acknowledges the rights of Indigenous peoples and will advocate for further respect towards First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples within the territory that I choose to call home.”

Each student who signed the declaration was given a medicine wheel pin to proudly display on their convocation gown. According to Indigenous Student Services, 191 graduates signed the declaration at the Frost Campus ceremony, and 700 graduates signed the declaration at the six Sutherland Campus ceremonies.

“As a college, we are collectively striving towards creating a campus culture of one that respects and honours the First Peoples of this land. This initiative, this opportunity for making a public declaration, brings us one step closer to seeing this vision come to fruition,” said Kylie Fox, Assistant Manager of Indigenous Student Services, who said Fleming College has done a lot of great work in the past few years to ensure Indigenous students and staff feel welcome and safe on campus, and is working towards a place where Indigenous peoples will begin to see themselves represented in all areas of campus life.

Photo courtesy of Indigenous Student Services
Photo courtesy of Indigenous Student Services

“Standing in the audience this year, visibly seeing our allies in the room, it was overwhelming and extremely powerful. You could see how proud students were to show their support,” said Kylie. “Knowing that almost 1, 000 Fleming graduates are moving into the workforce with this intention of honouring the rights of Indigenous peoples, I think that gives us a lot of hope for our future and it also says a lot about the type of citizens we are fostering here at Fleming. So, miigwech, thank you to all of you who supported this initiative and to those of you who signed the declaration. Niwii Kaanaaganaa, with all of my relations.”

Indigenous Student Services Coordinator Ashley Safar said the declaration will be offered annually at Fleming convocation. “This is an idea we’ve discussed for a while because we wanted to increase awareness,” she said. “And the Indigenous Perspectives Designation has gained more momentum and more schools are incorporating it into their curriculum. There’s some growth in the college and we wanted to represent that.”

The Indigenous Perspectives Designation (IPD) is an optional learning opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of Indigenous peoples, their cultures, histories, traditions and contributions to our shared society. The designation is available to students in the following programs:

  • Child and Youth Care
  • Ecosystem Management Technician
  • Ecosystem Management Technology
  • Mental Health and Addiction Worker
  • Social Service Worker
  • Community and Justice Services
  • Customs Border Services
  • Law Clerk
  • Paralegal
  • Police Foundations
  • Early Childhood Education.

Graduates with an IPD have a strong foundational basis in Indigenous Studies.

Several programs are currently developing curriculum to meet the IPD requirements, and a number of programs that do not offer the IPD have included the opportunity for students to take one or both GNED courses. Some programs have modified their vocational subjects to include Indigenous content.

Fleming College has a long history of supporting Indigenous learners and has relied on its Indigenous Education Council (an advisory committee made up of local Indigenous leaders) for more than two decades. Simultaneously, both Fleming’s Indigenous curriculum and support services have continued to grow. In December 2015, Fleming College formally committed to Indigenous education by signing the Colleges and Institutes Canada Indigenous Education Protocol, which reaffirms Fleming’s commitment to Indigenous education and provides a vision of how the college will strive to improve and better serve Indigenous peoples.

The Indigenous Education Council at Fleming College has been active since 1992. It has included representatives from local First Nations, local community representation such as local Elders and Traditional Knowledge holders, Indigenous youth and student representation; as well as internal employees of Fleming, who are all committed to Indigenous education.

Ontario Envirothon: Creating Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow

By: Laura Copeland

Allison Hands, Education Manager at Forests Ontario
Allison Hands, Education Manager at Forests Ontario

The Ontario Envirothon, held each spring, provides a unique opportunity for high school students to engage with the natural world, to learn how resources are managed, and to learn about the various careers and education pathways within the field.

“Regardless of the career path students choose after Envirothon, they will have a deeper understanding and appreciation for natural systems, and will be better able to make informed decisions about the environment,” says Allison Hands, Education Manager at Forests Ontario.

Forests Ontario has coordinated Ontario’s Envirothon program for close to 25 years, and the organization works with regional partners and sponsors – including Fleming College – to host local Envirothon workshops and competitions.

In fact, Rob Monico, with Fleming’s Office of Sustainability, participated in the Wellington-Waterloo Regional Envirothon Competition when he was in high school.

“The workshop and competition days inspired me to keep learning as much as I could about environmental issues. More importantly, I felt inspired and empowered enough to know that I could make a difference in environmental issues,” he says.

Rob’s participation in the event has come full circle. In April, he helped organize the regional Peterborough-Kawarthas-Northumberland Envirothon, which was hosted at Fleming’s Sutherland Campus. He also attended the Ontario Envirothon as a judge in May.

The Peterborough-Kawarthas-Northumberland Envirothon was a new regional competition initiated in 2017 for high schools in the area – there was no competition prior to this. A number of local organizations have worked together to launch and support this regional competition. These include Sustainable Peterborough, the County of Peterborough, Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, local school boards, and Fleming College.

envirothon-friendsThe 2018 regional competitions had 140 teams competing in total, with more than 1,000 students, teachers and volunteers participating across Envirothon events in Ontario. Winning teams from each region go on to compete at the Ontario Envirothon, which was held in Waterloo and featured 21 teams made up of 126 students and teachers.

Fleming College has hosted the Ontario Envirothon event several times at Frost Campus, and was also the co-host of the North American Envirothon championships with Trent University in 2016.

“This is an event we support because Fleming College believes in creating the next generation of environmental leaders. And, more importantly, assisting those leaders today to grow through experiential education opportunities,” says Rob.

“We have faculty, staff and students supporting this event from a variety of program areas,” adds Trish O’Connor, Director of Fleming’s Office of Sustainability. “It is also a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful natural environments at Fleming College to high school students, teachers, and the community.”

Rob explains that students take away a variety of skills by participating in the event. During the workshops and competition, students use different types of field equipment such as tree calipers, soil triangles, and dichotomous keys. Five major topics are covered – forestry, soils, aquatics, wildlife, and a fifth topic that changes every year. (This year it was climate change.)

“Teams also have to synthesize information into a coherent, timed presentation. Through this portion of the program, students develop their critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving and public speaking skills,” says Allison.

For Forests Ontario, Envirothon is a natural fit. The organization’s three pillars are tree planting, community engagement and awareness, and forest education.

“We champion Envirothon because it’s Ontario’s largest environmental competition, it promotes forest education, and it’s a really enriching experience for the students who take part,” says Allison. “We believe this competition helps to create future ‘Green Leaders.’”

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Forests Ontario works with a number of partners and sponsors to deliver Envirothon. Regionally, it works with conservation authorities, post-secondary institutions, professional/industry organizations, government, and charities/non-profits. The organization also offers additional education programs, including the 50 Million Tree Program, Forestry in the Classroom, and TD Tree Bee. For more information, visit: forestsontario.ca

For more information about Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, visit: flemingcollege.ca/SENRS

Riding the wave of experiential learning

By: Laura Copeland

blog-photoThe surf’s up for 15 Fleming College students who are working on a multi-faceted project to help a west coast surfboard company expand overseas.

Swell Composites Supply Ltd., based in Richmond, B.C., is sponsoring three applied projects for business students. Applied projects, available within certain programs in the School of Business and School of Trades and Technology, see students spend their final semester finding innovative solutions to a real-world challenge. The students gain academic credit and on-the-job experience. At the same time, the project results provide new information, answer questions, contribute to planning, and lay the groundwork for future innovations.

For Swell Composites – Entropy Resin’s Canadian partner that is the Importer and Distributor of the complete range of composite materials used in Fiberglass and Resin manufacturing within the sporting goods, custom manufacturing and marine industries in Canada -, a team of students in the International Business Management program have been creating a logistics and export manual that will aid the company in exporting to international markets. As well, two groups of Global Business Management students have been analyzing the markets of targeted, specific countries.

International Business Management student Duy Vong says working in teams on the applied projects has been both eye-opening and uplifting.

“I have been very lucky to work with an incredible group of people who are super supportive. They always help me whenever I’m in need and help me get over my weaknesses and turn them into strengths.”

Duy added that working on the project has been an “incredible journey” thanks to the sponsor, Swell Composite Principal Cofounder Jimmy Stewart, who is also a Fleming alumnus.

“He has taught us meaningful, real-life lessons, and he has provided a lot of information to helps us get our work done more easily and more quickly.”

Arielle Smith, an International Business Management student, says the three teams were “synergistic” and helped each other grow and develop over the semester. Like Duy, she also appreciated the support from their sponsor throughout the project.

“As a past Fleming graduate, Jimmy knows what it’s like to be in our shoes. He’s been able to offer us advice on what to do after we leave Fleming, advice about the industry, and has been a great overall guide for the project. He’s gone through information with us to ensure we have a solid understanding on the material, which has helped us in giving him an overall better final product,” she said.

Both Arielle and Duy said that communication between students and across projects presented a bit of a challenge at times.

“In order to be successful as a team, you need to have an effective channel of communication, to make sure that everybody is on the same page. Distance does not, and will not, stop a team from being successful as long as you know how to overcome the challenges,” said Duy.

Arielle says she is grateful for the applied project opportunity, as it will help her move forward into a career.

“With the experience I’ve gained from working for Swell Composites, I feel more prepared to enter the workforce than ever before,” she said. “I think it has been invaluable not only to myself but also the other groups. It’s easy for teachers to recreate situations for students to participate in, but there’s nothing like the real-life experience that we learned from the applied project.”

Fleming Innovation Conference


Fleming College’s Organizational Development Team welcomed faculty, staff and community partners to the Kawartha Trades & Technology Centre on Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8 for the first ever Innovation Conference. Participants also included guests from Trillium Lakelands District School Board and Georgian College.

More than 100 participants attended to learn how to develop innovative thinking, creative mindsets and adaptability, which are required qualities needed to thrive in the 21st century.

“The Innovation Conference was a huge success, we are so proud of the outcome” said Human Resources Consultant Lynn Watson. “All of the speakers and workshop leaders exceeded our expectations and we feel very motivated to apply their lessons into our work.”

The Innovation Conference kicked off with keynote speaker Dr. Gerard Puccio from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State.

“Creativity is the ability to modify self-imposed constraints,” said Dr. Puccio, encouraging the audience to think without judgement. “Don’t think with the brakes on,” he explained.

According to Dr. Puccio, creative thinking helps with problem solving, innovation, collaboration, and more. He went on to explain “future-proof careers” – careers least likely to become automated – and said the qualities of these careers are that they require creative problem solving, adaptability, and social intelligence.

Following the keynote, Fleming’s Vice-President Academic Judith Limkilde moderated a panel discussion featuring Paul Downs, Past President of Nexicom Inc.; John Gillis, CleanTech Innovation Specialist at the Peterborough Innovation Cluster; Hajni Hos, Executive Director at the New Canadians Centre – Peterborough; and Dr. David Laude, Chemistry Professor and former Academic Administrator at the University of Texas at Austin.

The panelists discussed how they use innovative and creative thinking in their fields. Many also praised the college for their contributions to the community. Ms. Hos thanked Fleming College for its help and support of newcomers in Peterborough, and Mr. Downs commented on the significant number of Nexicom staff who are Fleming graduates.

“50% of our staff are from Fleming,” said Mr. Downs. “I don’t know what the magic is that you do here, but they come and they are all eager to learn […] They have an inner desire and drive to continue to learn and grow within the company.”

After the panel discussion, participants had the opportunity to interact with the Fleming Innovation in Action display, which showcased innovative ideas and achievements of staff and students. The display reflected how Fleming College currently encourages creativity and innovation.

In the afternoon, participants enjoyed professional development workshops led by Dr. Puccio (“Creative Leadership”), Marysia Czarski (“Creative Problem Solving”), Tara McDonough (“Leadership Dimensions”), and Dr. Laude (“Student Success: Building community across diverse student populations).

Dr. Laude returned for the second day of the conference to dive deeper into student success and retention, delivering a keynote speech on “The Student Centered Campus,” sharing experience as both a faculty member and an administrator at the University of Texas at Austin.

“When I walk across campus, how many doors can I open and walk in?” said Dr. Laude, explaining how a student feels a sense of belonging on campus. Dr. Laude went on to explain how to change a culture on campus and how to get new ideas to catch on within a culture.

After Dr. Laude’s presentation, Fleming’s Learning Design and Support Team took over to further explore innovation in their afternoon panel workshop focused on Best Practices for Supporting International Students.

While no date is currently set for 2019, Fleming’s Organizational Development Team looks forward to hosting a second Innovation Conference in the future.

Advanced Water System Operations and Management student Sainil Shaikh shares World Water Day campus solutions

sainil-shaikhDid you know that every 10 seconds at Fleming College’s four campus locations, we use almost one litre of water for washing our hands? Advanced Water System Operations and Management (AWSOM) student Sainil Shaikh has been researching water use at the college and brainstorming solutions.

“Water is not just a form of H2O, it is the element that gives life on this planet,” said Sainil for World Water Day (March 22), which focuses on the importance of water. “Our future is lying in this, so we should do something about it.”

This year’s theme for World Water Day is Nature for Water, which explores nature-based solutions to water challenges. Sainil, who is doing his program co-op with Fleming’s Office of Sustainability, credits Fleming with already implementing solutions. The current five year sustainability plan targeted a 10% reduction in water consumption across the College by 2018; this target was achieved in 2016. Further reduction targets will now be identified.

“We don’t sell water bottles on campus and we have a Sustainability Action Plan. In the KTTC, we have a rain water harvesting system where rain water is collected and used to flush toilets and urinals. The normal flushing capacity of urinals is 3.8 litres per flush, but in the KTTC the urinals use 0.5 litres per flush,” said Sainil. “At Frost Campus, we have a constructed wetland, which treats water for a particular zone of the campus. We also have the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies located at Frost.”

But there is still work to be done, explains Sainil. Through his research for the Office of Sustainability, Sainil discovered that water usage tends to be higher at the beginning of each semester and that washrooms are the main source of high water usage. One of Sainil’s suggestions is to add automatic faucets to all washrooms (they are currently in some washrooms, including facilities in the KTTC), which would reduce the litres per minute used from 5-6 to 0.18.

Sainil also plans to create an awareness campaign around the use of water on campus. “No one knows that we are wasting this much water every day,” he said. “My friends got surprised when I told them these numbers.”

Sainil came to Fleming College from India after discovering the AWSOM program and Frost Campus’ strong reputation in the environmental field.

“It has been amazing!” he said. “It’s a good campus, it has more of an environmentally friendly surrounding. There’s nature and a trail, the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies is on campus, there’s a living wall… it feels good. I enjoy studying in such a good institution.”

He has also been enjoying his co-op at the Office of Sustainability, which is located in the Sutherland Campus.

“Everyone is so supportive. If I come up with ideas, they always support me,” he said. “It’s been a good, free environment where no one pushes me, they just support me.”

He is proud of the work he has done through his co-op and the knowledge he has gained through his program. “I am in the AWSOM program doing awesome things at Fleming,” he said.

Make a difference through Community and Justice Services

Community and Justice Services is one of six programs Law and Justice students may enter after Common First Semester, but while the other five programs – Customs Border Services, Law Clerk, Paralegal, Police Foundations, and Protection, Security and Investigation – bring a certain uniform or job duty to mind, Community and Justice Services (CJS) may seem more vague.

cjs-studentsWhat is CJS?

“The CJS program prepares graduates to work in the community and institutional settings with individuals who are involved – or at risk of becoming involved – with the criminal justice system,” said program coordinator Cindy Gervais. “This career path is extremely rewarding and challenging, because graduates are helping individuals to address risk and promote resiliency.”

Applied learning

One component of this Law and Justice program is the 15-week field placement, where students earn 520 hours in the field networking and gaining real world experience.

Jennifer Guerin, Correctional Manager at Warkworth Institution and member of the CJS Program Advisory Committee, welcomes CJS students on placement to Warkworth Institution, where they observe operations and interventions. She credits the CJS program with preparing students for the field.

“The program teaches the student what is important to bring into a federal institution, such as the stresses on dynamic security and the art of communication. The five week on-site interaction with a group and inmate interviews gives them a hands-on experience prior to placement,” said Jennifer, referencing the Field Observation course students take in their second semester. “All of the students are well-versed on professional boundaries and dynamic security practices.”

Graduate success

Nicole Soanes
Nicole Soanes, Youth Justice Committee Coordinator at John Howard Society of Peterborough

Nicole Soanes took Fleming’s CJS program because she wanted a career that would make a positive impact on the community. After graduating in 2017, Nicole hit the ground running at the John Howard Society of Peterborough as Youth Justice Committee Coordinator.

“I graduated feeling extremely competent and prepared to enter the workforce, and continue to learn and grow. Fleming College and the CJS program made it possible for me to find my passion and find myself,” said Nicole.

As Youth Justice Committee Coordinator, Nicole works with youth ages 12 to 17 who have come in contact with the justice system. She conducts intakes with youth, and coordinates restorative justice conferences between her clients and those they have harmed. Nicole also coordinates volunteers who are trained to facilitate restorative justice conferences.

Her most memorable career experience thus far is attending the National Restorative Justice Symposium in Ottawa as a field professional. “I was able to learn more about Indigenous traditions and Sacred Circles and one of the origins of restorative justice, which are the Maori tribes from New Zealand. When I first started to research and learn about restorative practices, I thought it was a small niche, and I have since learned of the massive – and growing – impact that restorative work is having around the world.”

Nicole’s passion for restorative justice was ignited after taking an Aboriginal Justice course during her first semester at Fleming College. Following the course, Nicole launched an initiative in her hometown to implement restorative justice practices for youth before they enter into the justice system, and during her final semester at Fleming College she applied for her current job.

Her advice to current students is to try to grow and improve each day, go outside of your comfort zone, talk to your peers and reach out for help when needed. “Most of all, find your passion. I can tell you that it is amazing to completely love what you do every day.”

SSW student Rebekah Rego raises awareness through Strengthening Indigenous Allies Club

Rebekah
Rebekah Rego smiles for a photo by the Tipi at Sutherland Campus.

Rebekah Rego, co-president of the Strengthening Indigenous Allies Club, is currently busy hanging red dresses around Sutherland Campus. From March 19 to 23, red dresses will be on display to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, encouraging the Fleming community to remember the women lost.

“If they don’t know about it, I hope they look into it; hopefully it makes them curious and question why this injustice is happening to our communities and to our women. If they do know about it, then I hope they feel supported,” said Rebekah on what she hopes people take away from the display. “Because of the posters, it’s already starting conversations and getting people thinking. It’s great.”

The Social Service Worker (SSW) student credits Métis multi-disciplinary artist Jaime Black for inspiring her display. The Winnipeg-based artist created The REDress Project, an installation art project that uses red dresses as a visual reminder of the crimes against Aboriginal women.

On Tuesday, March 20, Rebekah is organizing a march and candlelight vigil from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sutherland Campus main lobby. “I thought it would be great to have a night to remember and honour our women,” said Rebekah.

Rebekah reactivated Fleming’s Strengthening Indigenous Allies club with the support of her BISHKAA mentor, Tish, who previously led the group and is now co-president with Rebekah. But taking a leadership role is nothing new for Rebekah, who has been a passionate social activist since childhood, travelling with her mother (SSW program coordinator Cristine Rego) since she was 10 years old to attend conferences and movements on Indigenous issues.

In grade 10, Rebekah worked with Indigenous mentors to secure funding for a focus group to develop an Indigenous approach to respond to bullying in the Sudbury Catholic School Board. In grade 11, Rebekah participated in the Mkwa Ride-along Program with Sudbury Regional Police. And in grade 12, Rebekah was one of 20 Indigenous students chosen to attend Osgoode Hall Law School for one week to study Indigenous justice and be introduced to law school. She also co-published an article with her mother entitled Ensuring a Culturally Safe Practice in Working with Aboriginal Women.

“I’m a huge activist within the community,” said Rebekah, who said her social activist goals are awareness and reconciliation.

Since her goals are to make a difference, Rebekah said that Fleming’s SSW program seemed like the perfect fit for her. “My mom is a social worker, so I grew up and realized this is something I wanted to do—be a helping hand in the community,” she said.

Once she graduates from Fleming, Rebekah’s goal is to join the RCMP and work in northern communities.

She describes her Fleming experience as wonderful and appreciates the welcoming, positive environment. “I love the multicultural atmosphere here. It is a very inclusive environment where we’re free to do what we want,” she said. “I’ve really been supported here by my professors and peers, by Aboriginal Student Services, as well as by the Student Administrative Council.”