‘By investing in the student groups, I gained a passion’
Noah Wilson takes a holistic approach to his education.
“University isn’t just a way to find meaningful and fulfilling employment—it’s a journey, an adventure,” says the fourth-year Faculty of Arts student studying Indigenous governance.
For Wilson, this journey began while he was still in high school. Unsure of what exactly he wanted to study, he chose U of M because of its strong Indigenous community. “Being able to see the Indigenous Student Centre and the university’s commitment to providing a safe space for Indigenous students attracted me to U of M,” says Wilson, whose home community is Peguis First Nation.
In the past three years, he’s taken full advantage of experiences outside the classroom. He’s been involved in a number of groups and volunteer endeavours, including as an organizer of the University of Manitoba Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering, the co-president of the University of Manitoba Aboriginal Students Association and the Indigenous students’ representative for the University of Manitoba Students’ Union.
Wilson’s main motivation for getting involved on campus is to give back to the Indigenous community that has been so supportive and welcoming to him. Since beginning this work, however, he’s realized some significant personal and professional benefits from these experiences as well.
“The best thing I’ve taken away from being involved [on campus] has been the opportunity to network,” Wilson says. “I’ve built relationships with people that I might not have had the chance to meet or come across otherwise.”
One of those connections has already been fruitful: it helped land him a job through the RBC Aboriginal Summer Internship Program this past summer.
Perhaps more importantly though, through his volunteer endeavours, Wilson has figured out his purpose.
“By investing in the student groups, I gained a passion. It directed me towards wanting to go into law to focus on environmental law and Indigenous law. It helped me find a sense of purpose. It helped me ground myself and figure out where I want go.”
“I want to help protect the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples and the environment, because both need to be preserved for the sake of future generations.”
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