The 18th Annual Aboriginal Career Fair at UBC’s Okanagan campus featured a different format than in previous years. The popular event, which drew more than 350 high school Aboriginal students from across the Interior, was split between an indoor and outdoor event.
“In the past, we have held the Aboriginal Career Fair outdoors to accommodate the many Aboriginal students and the information booths,” said UBC Aboriginal Student Advisor Johanna Sam, one of the event organizers. “This year, we held it in the Fipke building which allowed our keynote speaker to have a more captive audience in the lecture theatre. It was a good opportunity to showcase the space to potential UBC students.”
The annual event is a community partnership between UBC Aboriginal Programs & Services, Okanagan College and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. More than 40 informational booths were on hand including UBC, NVIT, Okanagan College, Peace Hills Trust, Scotiabank, Thompson Rivers University, Astral Media, Valley West Dental, Service Canada, BC Paediatric Therapists Association, RCMP, En’owkin Centre, TD Bank, Westbank First Nation and the Southern Interior Flight Centre.
During the presentations, Okanagan College student Kacheena Naytowhow provided an insight into what it takes to be successful at the post-secondary level. She talked about balancing school with your personal life, using exercise to manage stress and the importance of not neglecting your spiritual side. “Stay focused. Getting the work done early makes a whole lot of difference in the long run. I use prayer as a source of strength. It’s all about being a balanced student.”
Aboriginal students from Interior high schools had the chance to enter the grand prize draw for a laptop computer, an Apple iPad or X-Box 360. While visiting the information booths, students generated answers to fill out scavenger hunt cards which were used as their door prize entry forms.
Many students participated in the Digital Tattoo workshop led by UBC Librarian Sarah Stang. “We had a good turnout for the workshop and we even had students come more than once,” said Stang. “Learning how to manage your digital profile is a timely subject for them.”
Keynote speaker Robert Pictou motivated students in the Fipke lecture theatre. In February, Pictou, through CFTK TV in Terrace, launched a 30-minute talk show entitled The Journey. The talk show documents narratives, inspires understanding and is geared towards creating social change.
“Your journey is where you want it to be…It’s your destiny, it’s your future,” said Pictou in his conclusion.