My Name is Kelli Wiebe. I am a Cree woman with family ties to Peepeekisis First Nation. I have grown up and currently live in Winnipeg with my partner and two daughters. I am working as an Indigenous Education teacher in St. James – Assiniboia School Division. I attended Career Trek when I was in elementary school and think back on that experience with great fondness. After all these years, I can still remember the dental hygienists from the UM showing us how teeth are numbered. I think about this when I am at the dentist and can tell them exactly what tooth needs to be looked at.
More importantly, I am grateful for the experience of being able to visit post-secondary campuses and feel at home there at such an early age. When I was a young woman attending UW, the campus didn’t seem foreign because I had spent so many Saturdays exploring there as a young girl. I think programs like Career Trek are important, to expose young people to what is possible and to help them to see what learning in different faculties feels like.
I am the second generation in my family to graduate with a university degree. I think it is important to understand that the impacts of colonization and racism are still barriers for many Indigenous students in accessing post-secondary education. I am fortunate that my mother led by example in attending university herself as a mature student, but I am also fortunate to have been part of a program that helps to bridge young students to post-secondary institutions in a way that is fun and rich in learning.