This Indigenous History month we celebrate the achievements and excellence of Indigenous graduates from the class of 2020 at the University of Ottawa. Learn what some of these inspiring graduates have to say about what convocation means to them.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020!
“I am proud to be receiving my diploma during a month that recognizes the challenges that my people have overcome to give me the right and possibility to pursue my studies. In receiving this diploma, I am also aware of a responsibility to help open doors for other Indigenous people and to educate individuals around me about the history and present reality of Indigenous people in Canada. I believe strongly in continuing the work of my ancestors.” –Gabrielle Côte-Picard
Gabrielle Côté-Picard (BMus ’20) is a graduate from the Faculty of Arts with a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Music Performance with a specialization in voice. She is Métis from Outaouais and the Gaspesie region.
"My time at the University of Ottawa was very positive. I had the opportunity to study Indigenous legal mechanisms and natural law that taught me the value of community and reciprocal relationships. I faced challenges which I overcame with the support of my communities, and I am forever thankful for the experience.” –Nathan Jocko
Nathan Jocko (JD ’20) is a graduate from the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. He is Algonquin of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation.
“Celebrating this month is about understanding how we are still so strong and so resilient. We are making things work no matter what. I think it is quite profound to graduate considering everything that has happened this year. And, for Indigenous graduates it is even more significant. It is a beautiful process, an important process. I would encourage Indigenous people to apply for post-secondary studies. I think it is really important.” –Madelaine McCracken
Madelaine McCracken will graduate in December 2020 from the Faculty of Education with a Master of Education. She is Métis with ancestral ties to the Red River Settlement located in Manitoba.
“For me, graduating during Indigenous History Month shows that despite everything we have endured and continue to endure, in environments that weren’t built for us to succeed, we continue to resist, make our mark and thrive. It makes me hopeful for the future generations to come. Bjiinak gdoo-maajtaamin. We are just getting started.” –Robin McLeod-Shabogesic
Robin McLeod-Shabogesic (BA ’20) is a graduate from the Faculty of Arts a major in Indigenous Studies and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is from Nipissing First Nation.