Student Success

A photo of the NAIT community putting up a tipi in the CAT Quad.

Sharing post-secondary experiences

The Cree word Nîsôhkamâtotân means “let’s help each other” and represents how we can learn from one another and lift each other up by sharing in our successes and our post-secondary experiences. Here, Aboriginal students and alumni from diverse communities provide their words of encouragement and advice for NAIT students to help them pursue their goals. 

Aden Ayah

Electrical Engineering Technology

Déline First Nation, NT

Portrait of Aden Ayah
“Knowing what it feels to be in pain, is exactly why we try to be kind to others.” – Jiraiya, Naruto

Advice for students
It’s not over when you lose, it’s over when you give up.

Future goals
To be able to support and contribute to my family. A side goal of mine is to be able to publish a book.

Ashley Bell

Medical Radiologic Technology ’21

Sucker Creek First Nation, AB

Portrait of Ashley Bell
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Advice for students
Work hard, study hard. Keep your head down and your chin up. But if all else fails, call on your ancestors for strength, guidance, and patience. After all, their blood runs through your veins, their heart beats in your chest, and your soul is their soul.

Future goals
I want to complete my program and work as an x-ray tech back home.

Jason Gladue

Electrician ’20

Bigstone Cree Nation, AB

 A portrait of Jason Gladue
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown

Advice to future students
Focus on your end goals; tomorrow is always going to be a better day.

Future goals
To retire in 10 years and move to Hawaii or Costa Rica.


Jonathon Pruden

Parts Technician ’21

Spruce Grove, AB

Portrait of Jonathon Pruden

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky

Advice to future students
Make friends, work and learn together.

Future goals
Continue to pursue knowledge and experience new things.

Lana Lawrick

Architectural Technology

Kapawe'no First Nation, AB

Portrait of Lana Lawrick
“Train the mind and the body will follow.” – Robert Jones

Advice to future students  
The hard work and sacrifice we make now will pay off in the future, always stay focused on your goal.

Future goals
I would like to have my own renovation company one day.

Maureen Charland

Power Engineering Technology ’21

Cold Lake First Nations, AB

A photo of Maureen Charland
“You have brains in your head. Feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

Advice to future students
Don’t hesitate and be active in studying.

Future goals
Obtain my second class ticket and travel.

Melanie Ward

Occupational Health & Safety ’22

Enoch Cree Nation
Portrait of Melanie Ward
“Life is short, time is fast, no replay, no rewind, so enjoy every moment as it comes.” –Anonymous

Advice to future students
Dedicate time to studying, even when you’re tired “just do it,” it’ll pay off in the long run.

Future goals
Keep achieving more, keep challenging myself, maybe I’ll end up having my own company or manage one.

Merrie Roan


Ermineskin Cree Nation, AB

Portrait of Merrie Roan
“I didn’t say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it!” – Mae West

Advice to future students
Ahkamêyimok — don’t give up, persevere, all of you.

Future goals
Open up my own bakery/café in my community.

Nigel Wildcat

Bachelor of Business Administration ’20

Ermineskin Cree Nation, AB

A portrait of Nigel Wildcat
“Do or do not, there is no try.” –Yoda

Advice to future students
Utilize the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre as much as possible, they are there to help you. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. Don’t skip class!

Future goals
My goal after graduation is to obtain my CPA designation.

Robert Bergeron

Automotive Service Technician ’22

Driftpile Cree Nation, AB

Portrait of Robert Bergeron
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, the courage to continue is where it counts.” –Winston Churchill

Advice for students
Never hesitate to ask for help. There are great people and resources within NAIT and Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre.

Future goals
My future goals are to expand my business and work with Driftpile Cree Nation and to be a mentor to young people within my nation who might be interested in trades.

Roger Abraham


Frog Lake First Nation, AB

Portrait of Rodger Abraham
“Never know until you try, so it’s either all in or nothing!” –Anonymous

Advice for students
The only limitation to everything is yourself. Go in with a mindset full of “I can do this; nothing is stopping me”. Once you do something once, it gets easier each time after that. It’s how we master things and get better at them.

Future goals
To get my journeyman, start my own company and teach youth with the same upbringing I had. I’ve had a good taste at contracting. I want to solidify everything by being ticketed instead of going off experience. Carpentry runs in my family. Generations of it.

Tasha Tologanak

Culinary Arts ’19

Cambridge Bay, NV

A portrait of Tasha Tologanak
“Going through things you thought you’d never go through will only take you places you thought you’d never get to.” –  Morgan Harper Nichols

Advice to future students
Show up every day, study, and work hard. It will all be worth it in the end.

Future goals
My future goal is to start a catering business back home and to eventually open my own restaurant.

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