Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Until three years ago, Jolene Hill knew nothing about the history of residential schools in Canada.
Life on a reserve was foreign to the master’s student who grew up in Arkansas as the adopted aboriginal daughter of white parents. In fact, just about any issue facing Canada’s First Nations was unknown to her.
Then Hill, whose birth family is from the Osoyoos Indian Band in B.C., came to Brock in 2010 to pursue her master’s degree in psychology. That’s when Hill got an education in being aboriginal in Canada.
Outside of school, she took at 12-week workshop designed to help First Nations peoples find employment. Hill landed a job at the Niagara Regional Native Centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake where she heard the life stories of her co-workers and the challenges they’ve faced as First Nations peoples in Canada.
At Brock, she connected with Aboriginal Student Services and participated in the programs and services it offered.
Every experience with Niagara’s First Nations community on campus and off only solidified for Hill what she wanted to do with her career.