Band: Cowessess First Nation
Hometown: Springside, SK
Program: Environmental Engineering Technology diploma
In high school, Jodi didn’t even think about applying to Sask Polytech ... until a friend started talking about the program she applied for. “I thought it wouldn’t hurt to look through the programs they offered,” she says. “Environmental Engineering Technology unlocked a childhood memory of wanting to be an engineer.”
Growing up as a young First Nations woman often made it tough to hang on to childhood dreams. “I was passed up for awards or opportunities simply because of the colour of my skin,” Jodi remembers. “It really damaged my self-image and made me ashamed and angry that I was Indigenous.”
But “ashamed and angry” is not who she is. “I’m confident and I love who I am,” she says. “My First Nations roots and heritage are beautiful and the only person who can take that away from me, is me.”
Jodi credits her mom with shoring up her self-esteem. “My mom has always been there to wipe my tears after a failed test, to show me the ways I could be better, to encourage me to be a compassionate person. She really is my rock.”
Jodi hopes to use her diploma to help Indigenous communities become healthier, more sustainable places to call home. “With Canada’s Indigenous population increasing, the need for adequate housing, safe water sources and environmental impact strategies for future generations have never been more important,” she says.