As much as I hated social statistics – it was my worst course – it taught me about correlations. I love looking for connections and figuring things out – things that you might not necessarily see on the surface.
It’s something I do every day. Both of my jobs involve offenders – I have been in the judicial field for over 15 years, whether in a courtroom or writing Gladue reports. But helping Indigenous clients navigate the judicial system doesn’t feel like work – it’s my passion.
I interview Indigenous offenders who have been charged with a crime and write reports that capture Indigenous clients’ histories. Judges or justices use those reports to recognize the cultural factors and adversity that many Indigenous people face. I ask offenders about their lives to answer the question, “How did you get here?” Often the answer is connected to intergenerational trauma – things that have impacted their lives without them even knowing it.
I get to help people see the moments in their lives when things changed. And when you hit something, it’s like planting a seed – one that could grow. I’d love to be able to answer the question of how to reduce recidivism. How to help people avoid graduating from one institution, like a residential school or the child welfare system, to another, like the penal system.
Both of my parents went to residential school. I have seen the impact of that. My dad really wanted me to finish my education. It was important to him, but I’ve been working on this degree for such a long time – on and off for more than 15 years – that both of my parents are gone now. So when I wrote my last paper I thought of my dad – of how proud he would have been.
When I was eight or nine years old I found a book that said something like “Intro to Sociology” on the cover. It just stuck in my mind. Now I know there was a reason I opened it.
– Delores, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology
Meet the Fall Class of 2018
Studying microplastics, blending history and theatre, reducing reoffending, dreaming of a Nepalese gallery – these are just some of our grads' big plans. Meet more members of the Fall Class of 2018.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.