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March 1, 2019
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Boulrice, from a canoe trip with Thessalon First Nation.
Congratulations to Cheyenne Boulrice, our 2018 winner of Animikii’s Technology Scholarship for Indigenous Youth! Cheyenne is from Thessalon First Nation in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and is in her third year of the Natural Environment Technologist program at Sault College.
We were thrilled to connect with Cheyenne and ask her a few questions about her exciting career in Natural Environment Technology and were eager to find out more about her experiences in her studies, how she plans to give back to her community, and what’s next for her after graduation.
Animikii: What inspired you to pursue technology?
Cheyenne: What inspired to me to pursue technology is that I enjoyed working with computers but I also really loved the outdoors and I was able to enter a program that introduced me to a field that incorporates both which is Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I really enjoy learning about the environment such as protecting species at risk and how to conduct various terrestrial and aquatic surveys but being able to apply what I’ve learned in GIS to these projects is extremely beneficial.
Animikii: Describe the impact you're hoping to have in your community?
Cheyenne: I’m hoping to share my knowledge and experience with the community by completing academic research and special data projects. Our history is so important that I’m hoping to capture as our Elders have stories and memories of our land that I hope to record and see how it has evolved to today. This critical information sharing can be a focal point at our community centre for validation and passing of our stories.
Animikii: Is there anyone who has supported you that you would like to thank?
Cheyenne: My parents for supporting me and making sure my college experience goes as smooth as possible. I’d also like to thank Thessalon First Nation for sponsoring me through school and giving me the opportunity to attend training and access any tools I may need.
Animikii: What is your proudest moment so far in your experience as a young tech person?
Cheyenne: My proudest moment so far would be completing drone training through Terresky and being able to apply this training to my own research projects on my First Nation. This experience has allowed me to obtain wildlife/plant data in a completely new and fascinating way as well as open up a lot of potential career opportunities for me.
Animikii: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is thinking of following in your footsteps, what would it be?
Cheyenne: Stay focused and committed because it is so easy to get distracted. Another piece of advice would be to get to know your professors and to make as many connections as possible within your field of choice!
Animikii: What's next for you?
Cheyenne: Next, I am planning to graduate from my current Natural Environment Technologist program and enrolling in the GIS program at Sault College. I’m also beginning work on my final independent study; using GIS (ArcMap) to create a ‘Values Map’. This will in hopes create a dynamic database that stores traditional values data and exact coordinates of culturally significant locations of my First Nation. This project will in hopes bridge the gap between my First Nation and its cultural history by identifying and providing information on areas of significance such as traditional fishing and hunting grounds, the history in the area and the location of important cultural landmarks.
Thank you, Cheyenne, and we wish you the best in your future career! If you or anyone you know is interested in applying for either our Technology or Entrepreneurship Scholarships for Indigenous Youth you can apply here.
For some tips and tricks on how to apply, check out our articles, What Makes a Great Scholarship Application? A Guide for Indigenous Students and Scholarship Guide For Indigenous Students: Part Two.
March 1, 2019
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