Student Success

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. 

Shared experiences and advice from current students

Portrait of Rodger Abraham

Roger Abraham

Frog Lake First Nation, AB

“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.

Brett Landry

Business Administration - Human Resource Management

Okanese First Nation Treaty 4, SK

Portrait of Brett Landry

“Stay gold, Ponyboy” - The Outsiders   

Advice to future students
I did my best when I attended EVERY SINGLE CLASS. Try to stay focused on self-care and doing healthy things to improve your outcomes in school. Establish a system of supports to help you through the hard times.   

Future goals
Start my own employment equity programming to help increase Indigenous peoples in the workforce. 

Drea Halfe

Culinary Arts

Saddle Lake Cree Nation, AB

Portrait of Drea Halfe

“Trust the timing of your life.” 

Advice to future students
Follow your passion. Find what makes you happy and make that your career. Do it for you and you will succeed.   

Future goals
My future goals would be to own a food truck and a bakery. I would also love to travel with my family and teach my 2 sons how to cook.   

Tiffany Marten

Chemical Technology

Mikisew Cree First Nation

Portrait of Tiffany Marten

We’ve come for everything we were told we couldn’t have. We have arrived.” – Danielle H. Morrison   

Advice to future students
If you ever struggled focusing during class, following oral instructions or if you can’t stop procrastinating, get assessed for a learning disability and apply for accommodations for your studies. It helps tremendously and NAIT has amazing resources for students.     

Future goals
I plan on getting into Environmental Chemistry and want to help my community with the skills that I’ve learned as a Chemical Technician.

Shared experiences and advice from alumni

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.

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.

Nick Park

Heavy Equipment Technician ‘23

Edmonton, AB

Portrait of Nick Park
“if you don't like it, learn to love it.” – Ric Flair

Advice for students
Never give up, the journey will be hard, but you will gain more than you could ever imagine. 

Future goals
To travel and help my children grow into the people they want to become. 

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.

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.

Zabeth Tsetta

Personal Fitness Trainer

Yellowknife, NT

Portrait of Zabeth Tsetta
“Life is too short to be nervous.” – Unknown

Advice to future students
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS! And don’t be afraid to ask questions in class. 

Future goals
To own a fitness studio based in my home.


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