THUNDER BAY – More than 100 Indigenous graduates from across Northern Ontario celebrated their achievements of academic success in trades training programs Friday at Oshki-Pimache-O-Win.
Lorrie Deschamps, president of the Indigenous Institution, stated “It truly is a celebration as we gather today in honour of our students who are graduating, with many who waited patiently for two years to receive their diplomas. The joy and faces full of pride from their families makes us appreciate the value and importance of gaining an education and coming together to celebrate our successes. It is exceptional that many of our graduates persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic and today is a testament to the added challenges they overcame as part of their studies.”
Oshki-Wenjack’s convocation ceremonies were paused due to the global pandemic and virtual ceremonies were held that honoured graduates from the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years and many of those graduates in attendance on Friday.
NAN Grand Chief Derek Fox, Indigenous Services Canada Minister Patty Hajdu, and Peng You, representing Thunder Bay, were among dignitaries who offered congratulatory and uplifting messages to all graduates.
Nishnawbe Aski Police Service’s Chief of Police, Roland Morrison, was keynote speaker who highlighted the sacrifice and courage that is required to achieve an education and the importance of being prepared for successful careers.