Alum reflects back on an assignment about her mother’s life

March 6, 2020 | Society

Years ago when I was in university, I had to interview an influential woman in my life for a class on women’s studies. So I interviewed my mom. She is the oldest of 20 kids, was raised on a reserve in B.C. and was sent to a residential school. In doing this interview, I learned details of her life I didn’t know before. She told me about her experiences growing up, going to residential school and later going to post-secondary to become a teacher.

She talked about how professional women were very much in the minority then, and the number of native women graduating from university was very low – and still is very low today. I saw many injustices through her eyes, like seeing women get the vote before Indigenous people as a whole. And she talked about living through some not very nice things.

She told me that back then if you were a woman, you could be a teacher, a secretary or a nurse — pick one, that was your choice. But when I was growing up, there was never any question whether I could do something I wanted to do. She taught me that I should do it and I can do it.


—Rae-Ann Lajeunesse, Correctional Services alum (’91)

March 8 is International Women’s Day.



A life’s work of helping vulnerable people

Entering correctional services is a calling that students and alumni of the program know all too well.


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