Samson students hear from First Nations professionals

Students at the Nipisihkopahk Secondary School heard from two First Nations professionals about what their future might hold.

 

Students at the Nipisihkopahk Secondary School heard from two First Nations professionals about what their future might hold.

The talks were held Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the high school in Maskwacis where Beverly Crier, curator and historian and Bert Crowfoot, photographer and digital media storyteller spoke a little about their jobs to encourage students to continue their education.

Crier said it was the history of the Samson people that excited her. She enjoys reading about her forefathers and suggested it has become a real joy for her. “My job doesn’t really fell like a job, because I enjoy what I do.”

She says working in the Samson Cree Nation Intergovernmental Office has helped her understand how the past has affected the Samson Cree Nation.

Archives in their museum, Acimopkamik, the Storytelling Place, also show images and documents regarding Indian residential schools. While those times are not looked at with fondness, Crier suggests the history is important for students to know.

“It’s about you and it’s also about learning about your history,” said Crier.

“We get to understand why things transpired in our community,” she added.

Crier suggests while students look at their education they should stay strong to their culture and know their history.

Crowfoot talked about how he started out as a photographer doing sports stories for a small First Nations newspaper. From there, he would sell his images and buy better equipment.

He became a founder of the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society and is general manager of CFWE-FM, an Alberta wide radio network.

He says the biggest thing that makes the difference for people who look at their future is attitude; positive outlook changes everything.

He referred to a time when there were 11 Native newspapers in the country that lost funding from the federal government.

Only two are left. Crowfoot says the reason they survived is because they took a negative situation and made it positive. Those two newspapers became innovative and found a way to earn money in the market.

He recommends a strong will and independence.

“I’ve learned not to rely on federal money because they always hold that against you and use it to influence what you do,” said Crowfoot.

He recommends students look at their future and consider what they will say to their ancestors about their lives.