Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 175

Arctic Yearbook 2014 175   to them… listening to each other talk about what we’re doing or what someone is going through. (#10) Team work and solidarity is another approach when supporting each other: Just to be understanding cause we’re all in this together… we’re searching for something together and I think if you realize that you’re going to be open to supporting one another. It’s always motivating to see women that have pursued something and achieved something and they did it with sometimes very little means and not a lot of support. (#10) Students build relationships and share resources: We work together and we talk amongst each other and we tell each other stuff. Like for example one of the students that I work with had a hard time finding places to go, places for their children to go. They wanted them to be active and so our group gave her a list of places to go [with her children]. So it’s just confiding with somebody or letting somebody know what’s bothering you. That person may know somebody else that has either experienced it or you know somebody that can help in dealing with it. (#23) Working together on class projects was also a source of support among female students. More group work, because when we come to school after hours we take into consideration “okay, do you have kids?”, “are there any recreation activities that you need to go to?”. It’s just that on the scheduling part, we find out we can’t come because I’ve got to travel for work or my daughter has gymnastics that evening. So, when we do work together we sometimes take a break and we ask “hey, where did you come from?” “Do you have family here?” And we just talk. (#23) For many of the students, family was a foundational source of support, although not all students had family close by. A significant number of students come from northern communities in the region. I honestly grew up thinking that I wasn’t good enough even though I was an A student and I just always had the feeling I couldn’t do it and I learned that I can even though we’ve overcome all of these odds or had to go through all of this… I can do anything and I’ve got the support of my family and I think for me I also learned that getting a bad grade on a paper is nothing compared to the other stuff that we’ve gone through. (#5) The majority of students also described how going to school close to home made their academic success possible. Being able to pursue a post-secondary education in northern Manitoba where university programs included Aboriginal course content, multidisciplinary teaching and small class sizes all contributed to reducing geographical and cultural barriers, as a participant commented, “Being here in the north is one of the conditions that has made it [success] possible” (#6). Attending post-secondary education in the north allows students to keep their connection with their families and communities and continue contributing to the development of their own communities.   “We’re All in This Together”