Lucy Fowler says education is a lifelong journey because she learns everyday.
Lucy Fowler says education is a lifelong journey.
"I like to learn, just learn new skills and especially new things I can do with creating memories or things I can do with my sister. So I learned last year how to make ribbon skirts, which was pretty awesome,” said Fowler, who is Métis from Winnipeg.
“So I'm always really eager to get new, not get new knowledge, but making connections with community members to learn more about my family and where we came from.”
She is a PhD education candidate at the University of Saskatchewan and focused her Masters on Métis hip hop artists. Fowler was hoping to discover their experiences in art while learning about their experiences navigating the education system. She wants to make schools more welcoming to Metis and Indigenous youth.
Fowler is also a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg and discovered a passion for teaching.
“I fell in love with teaching. The second I was in the classroom with kids. "Oh yeah. This is actually the best." Standing at the front of the room or working with people one on one,” said Fowler.
She enjoyed watching people learn and grow. Fowler is committed to assisting Two-Spirit and LGBTQ youth and learning more about Metis culture and artisan skills.
She found post secondary institutions a great avenue to meeting culturally connected individuals.
“A lot of families are disconnected from their community knowledge or if your family had to relocate to the city a few generations ago and you don't have connections back to the reserve, it can feel really scary to try to go back and make connections,” said Fowler.
And the supports like Elders in residence and Indigenous support workers helped her reconnect. Fowler also found great support when it came to applying for scholarships.
She admits finances were always a barrier to attending post secondary and the schools helped her locate and apply for those essential funds.
Another barrier was getting out of her comfort zone and meeting people. Fowler's advice is to exchange emails, attend campus events because one never knows where those connections will lead. And if it doesn’t happen right away, still be kind to yourself.
“Be nicer to yourself. Be kinder, things take time. Things might not happen in the timeframe that you think they're going to happen or they might look differently than you think they're going to look, but just be kind to yourself and appreciate everything that you have.” said Fowler.
And as her journey of learning continues, Fowler draws inspiration from the women in her life.
“I get mostly inspired by the amazing women in my life. Whether it's my mom, she's amazing. Or my aunties, who are all these powerhouse ladies who are just so smart and driven. And they just are amazing to look up to and I just would love to be, I want to be the auntie like them one day.” said Fowler.
Thanks to Oscar Baker III for writing this article.
Future Pathways Fireside Chats are a project of TakingITGlobal's Connected North Program.
Funding is generously provided by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch, and the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning program.