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The reason I took First Nations Studies 1020 was because I knew that in order to grow and establish our non-profit organization, it was important that I continued to educate myself and embrace the culture. I also knew it was my duty to pass down my knowledge to the other members of AYP, and then to my community.

Three words to describe this class: eye-opening, student-focused and current. This course was eye-opening because not only did I learn a lot about current events and the histories of our Indigenous people, but having the opportunity to be in a class with Aboriginal students and learning from their knowledge was the most educating experience. What I liked the most about this class was that our professor brought in guest speakers who talked about their personal experiences, Indigenous knowledge and their professions. Having the opportunity to see how Indigenous people in the 21st century are incorporating and utilizing their culture in their everyday life, was eye opening.

This class is very student-focused because we have the opportunity to present to the class our understanding of a chapter in the First Nations of the Twenty-First Century textbook. We, as students are given a voice and are able to give input on questions we want see on the exam. Finally, for our final assignment, we were given the opportunity to present anything to the class that incorporated the knowledge we learned in class. This teaching style allowed us students to be independent, explore resources on the internet and educate ourselves with information that interests us.

In the beginning of this course, I was really overwhelmed because I felt that I knew nothing compared to my classmates, I was scared to participate due to my lack of knowledge, and the fear of offending my fellow classmates in case I used improper terms. Though the most important thing I learned at an Indigenous information panel during Aboriginal Awareness Week, was being scared to offend Indigenous people and not straight up ask your questions is more offensive. The only way we are ever going to learn is if we ask our questions with confidence and have the desire to educate ourselves. I really enjoyed this class and will continue to take more First Nations Studies classes in the future.  

March 28, 2015

Written by: Janani Thillainathan

My First Year Experience