Nick Basaraba

E is for Entrepreneur: Aspiring Educator Nick Basaraba Spells Out Life Lessons

“Movement is medicine” is his motto and he’s making big moves from the world of education to the World Wide Web. Nick Basaraba was born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and it’s where most of his family now lives. He’s a third-year university student at the University of Saskatchewan where he’s pursuing a degree in education through the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program. He chose it because he loves kids and he’s inspired by older cousins who are teachers. He loves teaching and learning online but he’s not sure he wants to be a traditional classroom teacher. 

Outside of education, he is a digital marketer who owns a company called Prairie Digital Solutions, providing digital ad solutions and web development. He started his business to do something he really loves. He advertises for personal trainers and enjoys being active. 

Entrepreneurship is attractive to him because he wants to have time for his family,  his girlfriend and any kids that might come along in the future. Work-life balance is something he sees in having his own business. Also, he wants to help people believe in themselves and that’s a goal that motivates him regularly. He also loves creating opportunities and finding solutions instead of focusing on problems. He aspires to be a lifelong entrepreneur and to maybe teach entrepreneurship. 

His education path included a standard kindergarten to grade 12 education and then university. He’s taken suicide intervention training and therapeutic crisis intervention training, learning how to support kids in regulating their emotions. Informally, Basaraba learned from his family and his counsellor he’s been seeing since he was 8 years old. “I think I gained more from informal education rather than the formal. I really learned the value of discipline through informal education,” he reflects. 

For students thinking about leaving their home community, Basaraba’s advice would be, “Be bold. If you’ve got a dream, do it. There comes to a certain point in life when you have to make a decision. The decisions that we make as a young person affects our older selves. The decisions that we make right now are so critical. Take risks and learn, because that's where you learn when you make mistakes.”  

The other advice he would offer would be, “Love yourself more than anyone in this world and prioritize yourself. It's not selfish, it's for yourself, and that's all that matters at the end of the day. Just believing in yourself, you have the capability to do anything you want in this world. Do what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to make sacrifices, if you’ve got to move away for a few years, then it is what it is. It all comes down to how bad you want to succeed in life.” 

Illustration by Shaikara David

Seeking out a support system in your new community is something Basaraba recommends, through the university or through the local Indigenous community.  “If you ever feel like you're alone, I'm just letting you know you're not alone. You have a huge Indigenous family that is rooting for you,” he encourages.

There are so many reasons to succeed, according to Basaraba. “Our ancestors, they did a lot for us. We wouldn't be where we are today without our ancestors and so we’ve got to pay tribute. We’ve got to make our ancestors proud, make your family proud, make yourself proud. At the end of the day, it's all about you,” he explains.

Throughout his life, Basaraba faced challenges given his father struggled and his mother was dealing with trauma. As a young child, he moved in with his aunt and uncle and being separated from his parents was hard. His dad eventually passed away from heart issues and while they had some challenges, he still works hard to make his dad proud, displaying a photo of him to remember him.

"If I put my Creator first, everything else follows, and it's such a peaceful and wonderful feeling."

Beyond family trauma, Basaraba had a hard time believing in and trusting himself, something he overcame with a strong support system, sports and his faith in God. He has played hockey, basketball, softball, fastball, volleyball, and badminton, winning trophies for his athletic skills. Outside of sports, he talked through his feelings with his counsellor and spent time with friends and family.  

If he could advise his younger self he would say, “Keep going, stay strong and everything will be okay in the end. If you keep on doing good, if you just make the right choice, choose the good rather than choose the bad, God will fulfill you. Just keep on going and keep on believing.” 

To keep his mental health in check during the beginning of the pandemic, Basaraba made the most of his free time, praying, listening to YouTube videos of preachers, smudging, practicing his spirituality, and working out. He bought a pullup bar and started doing pull-ups regularly, practicing ball, and all the other things he loved to do. “By doing stuff that you love, you remember how precious life is and you remember why, you find out your purpose,” he reflects. Staying connected with others through FaceTime and not letting fear control him, he leaned into his faith.  

"By doing stuff that you love, you remember how precious life is and you remember why, you find out your purpose."

When it comes to inspiration, Basaraba looks to his Creator and his dreams. Helping people be the best they can be and living so he has no regrets keeps him inspired, too. His mother, aunts and uncles keep him motivated and so does self-love. “I love myself so much and why not give myself the best life?” he declares.  

To inspire Indigenous youth, Basaraba says, “Whatever dream that you have, do it. A lot of people want to say that you can't do something. But at the end of the day, all that matters is what you think and if you want something, go get it, period.” He urges youth to work for what they want instead of partying. “If I can start a business, you can do anything too because I never thought I was going to do a business. Just believe in yourself, okay? Make yourself proud at the end of the day,” he concludes. 

With “Movement is medicine” as his motto, Nick Basaraba is making big moves in the world of education and for his clients on the World Wide Web. Learning lessons and living by faith and blessings, he’s finding his own way to make himself and his family proud. Leaning into his support system and supporting others in turn, he’s living with no regrets and lots of hope for the future.

Thanks to Alison Tedford Seaweed for authoring this article.

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  • Career
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  • Date
    May 1, 2024
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