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Stories that instil resilience

Melanie Lalonde, Rebecca Asham, Carrie Selin

June 28, 2024 — 

June is National Indigenous History Month, and while at the Faculty of Science, we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of the Indigenous community on campus throughout the year, we wanted to take this time to listen to the journey, the proud moments, the challenges and the resilience of the Indigenous faculty, students and staff.

“I guess just finding someone like me doing what I’m doing was really hard,” says Rebecca Asham (Peguis First Nation), a recent alum from the department of biological sciences and an NSERC award recipient, “I went on a field course with Dr. Roth up to Churchill to work with Arctic foxes and then that’s where I fell in love with field research”. Asham will return to UM as an MSc student in the winter of 2024.

“I have landed my dream job. I am now the Wawatay academic program lead and I could not be happier than being here in this moment. Being here to be able to help students get through their science degree, especially Indigenous students like myself and providing those opportunities and supports that I never had going through undergraduates”, says Carrie Selin (Red River Métis), PhD from the department of microbiology and the Wawatay academic program lead at the Faculty of Science.

“My proudest achievement was when I published my first paper”, says Melanie Lalonde (Red River Métis), PhD from the department of biological sciences and Wawatay program development specialist at the Faculty of Science, “Graduating with my first Bachelor’s degree I think was my biggest achievement for myself, just knowing that I could actually do it when I had a lot of people telling me I couldn’t”.

You can watch the full interview on the Faculty of Science’s YouTube channel.

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