In our Portraits series, the people who make up the MacEwan community tell their own stories in their own words.
In 2018, we shared nearly 100 portraits, documenting trials and triumphs, celebration and reflection, discouragement and discovery, and all the highs and lows that define the human experience.
This year, the portraits you read and responded to most covered challenging topics — loss, injustice, discrimination, self-doubt and personal tragedy. The people featured in these portraits weren’t afraid to talk about difficult things, and you embraced their generosity by continuing those conversations.
Here are the portraits that had you talking in 2018.
Launa Linaker, Experiential Learning Educator, School of Business
“And then everything went dark. In an unthinkable act of terror, 458 people were injured and 86 people were killed. Misha Bazelevskyy, an incredible young man who was also one of my students, was among those who died. That night, I saw the very worst of humanity. But in the minutes, hours and days after, I also saw humanity at its very best.”
Roslyn Cardinal, Administrative and Communications Coordinator, kihêw waciston, and Sexual Violence Support Guide, OSVPER
“In 1970, my Aunt Stella was 19 years old and six months pregnant. One day, she went out into the bush with people she knew and just disappeared. When my family went to the police for help, not much was done. It was officially ruled a death with no foul play, but her body was never found. It was treated like a non-issue.”
Mallory, 4th year, Bachelor of Commerce, Supply Chain Management
“I was on campus through my whole pregnancy. Nine months in, I was packing the biggest lunches! Ella, my daughter, had great timing. She arrived during Winter Reading Break in 2017, and I was in class the following Monday. Even though I was breastfeeding and running on no sleep, I wanted to be there, listening and taking notes.”
Mackenzie, 4th year, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
“A blanket exercise is basically the last 2,000 years of history condensed into an hour. You start out with a bunch of blankets that represent Turtle Island, or North America, before European contact. People representing Europeans stand around the outside, and all the people on the blankets are the Indigenous peoples. They're not allowed to talk, which symbolizes how Indigenous peoples didn't have a voice throughout the colonial period.”
“I learned empathy is the most useful tool to deal with racism. I think about how society shapes a person. When someone uses racial slurs or talks down to a specific group of people, they’ve learned this attitude. It’s been socialized into them. Rather than being aggressive, I try to have a conversation and offer knowledge. You don't call them out, you call them in.”
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.