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Left side of photo: Cassidy Copple sitting on a bench surrounded by greenery. Right side of photo: Mamie Kroeker-Tom stands in front of the UM administration building holding a diploma and smiling

Building community by getting involved

Mamie Kroeker-Tom and Cassidy Copple celebrate new beginnings during Indigenous History Month

June 5, 2024 — 

June is National Indigenous History Month. This month FKRM will celebrate, learn and honour the achievements, stories and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students and staff within our faculty.

Mamie Kroeker-Tom, the Indigenous student representative for the Physical Education Recreational Kinesiology Student Council (PERKS), says the month is a great opportunity to learn and reflect on Indigenous history.

“It’s really important to have this time to celebrate,” says Kroeker-Tom. “In so many other aspects of life, we can be overlooked and not recognized.”

Kroeker-Tom says if she weren’t about to graduate, she’d keep being part of the council as long as possible. She says having the opportunity to “build more relationships with peers and faculty members” and “contribute to the betterment of the community” was very special.

Mamie Kroeker-Tom standing in front of the UM administration building holding a diploma

Mamie-Kroeker-Tom // Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

Having competed in rhythmic gymnastics for most of her life, Kroeker-Tom hopes to use her bachelor of kinesiology degree to make a difference in the rhythmic gymnastics community in Canada by bringing more attention to the sport.

“I am very excited about what’s next, but it’s sad to be done with everything and moving on from my time at UM,” she says. “I didn’t think I would feel this way. But now that it’s come, I’m feeling slightly sad.”

While Kroeker-Tom prepares to cross the stage at convocation, Cassidy Copple, a bachelor of kinesiology student about to begin her fourth year, prepares to take over her role as Indigenous student representative.
“It’s important to have someone willing to engage with everyone and let them know about the opportunities out there,” says Copple.

Her biggest goal for the upcoming year? Connection.

Cassidy Copple sits on a bench surrounded by greenery.

Cassidy Copple

“I want to improve the involvement of students and highlight more of like the indigenous events,” she says. “I want to share opportunities, whether new or reoccurring and help students get to know what’s going on in our faculty.

Copple says there were many opportunities and supports she wasn’t aware of when she started in the faculty and hopes to make things more open for students.

Copple says “the best way to improve everything is to share knowledge.”

Echoing Kroeker-Tom, Copple says June is a chance for the community to learn more about the rich history of Indigenous People.

“I find it important to share stories because our history has so often been swept under the rug,” she says. “Sharing knowledge and getting people informed can have a major impact.”

Copple hopes people will use the month to recognize Indigenous peoples’ role in Canadian culture and give themselves time to learn more.

For new students, Copple says she hopes they get involved, reach out to each other and/seek guidance or help when they need it.

She hopes everyone has a chance to “share their knowledge, ask questions, and get involved.”

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