First Nation Housing Graduation | A Place to Call Home
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(Text on screen: Over the past 18 months, 14 First Nation housing professionals have been working toward a Certificate in Housing Management)
(Text on screen: Today, they become the first class to graduate from the program)

(Music fades in) 

(Visual: The video pans across pamphlets that are splayed on a table. The cover of the pamphlets read: “Graduation Ceremony”. The video cuts to a montage of images that features students in their graduation gowns arriving at the graduation ceremony and having their picture taken. The smiling graduates gather for a group photo before the video transitions into the banquet room for the ceremony. In the banquet room, ceremonial First Nation drumming is shown before the video cuts to images of family and friends in attendance at the event. The MC for the event begins to speak as images of family and friends continue to be shown.

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this fabulous celebration we are about to have.

(Visual: Lauren Bishop, the woman speaking, appears on screen. She is standing at a podium on a stage beside the graduates.)

(Text on screen: Lauren Bishop: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)

The ceremony today is about celebrating the hard work, long hours…

(Visual: Footage of the students from an earlier classroom session appears. A tight shot of a hand drawing notes on a map is shown, and then cuts to two women working on a class assignment. The video cuts to an instructor standing beside a group of students sitting around table. The instructor provides the students some guidance on the class project. The students work in groups while discussing the exercises in their coursework.

…sacrifice and dedication these students have shown over the last 18 months. These students dedicated the time and energy into learning and studying materials that has made them stronger housing managers

(Visual: The video cuts to an image of two graduates standing behind a podium on the stage at the graduation ceremony. One of the graduates, named Connie Kaysaywaysemat, begins to speak.

My name is Connie Kaysaywaysemat and with me is Kevin Arcand.

(Visual: A close-up image of a black folder containing a graduation certificate is shown. The image cuts to a smiling graduate on stage at the ceremony.

We are proud to stand before you today and represent our graduating class.

(Visual: Kevin Arcand, the other graduate at the podium, begins to speak while an image of him walking across to the stage to accept his certificate is shown. A wide shot of the graduates sitting on stage is shown. They appear elated and by the ceremony. A graduate applauds as he watches his fellow students receive their certificate. A graduate smiles as he is handed his certificate.)

This is a special and unique group we all come through different communities with different cultures languages and backgrounds. Yet, we all share the same passions concerns and problems when it comes to housing and First Nation communities.

(Visual: Kevin Arcand, the man speaking, appears on screen at the podium.

It is our responsibility to try and help our communities by assisting and educating our members on the challenges we face as First Nations people when it comes to housing.

(Visual: Connie Kaysaywaysemat is heard at the podium as more graduates receive their certificates. They smile and shake hands with the individual handing out the certificates. The video cuts to an image of Connie Kaysaywaysemat sitting with her family and friends in a group photo at the graduation. The video cuts again to show a graduate hugging Linda Hunt, one of the teachers of the program, on the graduation stage.)

We hope all the graduates from today will take a moment to thank everyone who has supported them because without their support who knows if we would have made it this far.

(Visual: Kevin Arcand begins to speak and is shown at the podium.)

Most importantly, want to congratulate all of you. You worked hard to be able to be here today. You’ve earned this celebration, and that is important.

(Visual: The graduates are standing on the graduation stage, and the image pans to reveal the audience applauding them.)

And congratulations to all and have a wonderful evening.

(Visual: Linda Hunt begins shown speaking on camera.)

(Text on screen: Linda Hunt: Lead Instructor – Housing Manager Program)

It's a lot of hours spent with each other. Now they’re my colleague as of today. There is no longer a student-teacher relationship, so I'm looking forward to a new and building on that.

(Visual: As Linda Hunt continues to speak, an image of her shaking hands and hugging a graduate on the ceremony stage is shown.)

I'm always overwhelmed because I'm always feeling for the students and it's usually hard for me to let go too. I'm super excited finally finally all done. I’m so so happy.

(Visual: A graduate is shown shaking hands with individuals at the ceremony. The graduate is then shown speaking on camera with his family by his side.)

I'm super excited finally finally all done. I’m so so happy.

(Music increases in volume.)

(Visual: In a wide angle slow motion shot, the graduates are shown on stage at the ceremony tossing their graduation caps into the air in celebration. The video cuts to a close up shot of hands applauding in the audience. The graduates hug and shake hands as the ceremony concludes. The video fades to white)

(Text on screen: #NationalHousingStrategy

(Visual: Text fades in along with the Government of Canada and CMHC logos. All text and graphics fades to white.) 

(Music fades out)

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March 21, 2018

Historic graduation for First Nation housing managers

“I’m super excited,” says Kyle Eagletail of Tsuut’ina Nation at his graduation in Edmonton, Alberta. “I’m so, so happy.”

Together with 13 other First Nation Housing professionals, Kyle crossed the stage as part of the first graduating class of the Housing Manager Certificate program. The ceremony drew an audience of more than 100 friends and family members.

Over a period of 18 months, students from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Yukon completed a series of 3-day classroom learning modules. Topics included property management, construction fundamentals, financial management and site planning.

“These students dedicated the time and energy into learning and studying materials that have made them stronger housing managers,” says Lauren Bishop, Indigenous Client Development Manager at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Students Connie Kaysaywaysemat of Carry the Kettle First Nation and Kevin Arcand of Alexander First Nation were both named class representatives.

“We all come from different communities with different cultures, languages and backgrounds,” Kevin says. “Yet we all share the same passions, concerns and problems when it comes to housing in First Nation communities.”

Classes are already underway for the second wave of students, and graduation is anticipated in 2019.

Congratulations to the graduates:

Greg Adams, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (Fort Chipewyan, Alberta)
Kevin Arcand, Alexander First Nation (Edmonton, Alberta)
Cheryl Badger, Kehewin Cree Nation (Bonnyville, Alberta)
Chantel Bastien-Provost, Piikani Nation (Lethbridge, Alberta)
Kyle Eagletail, Tsuut’ina Nation (Calgary, Alberta)
Travis Eldridge, Woodland Cree Nation (Peace River, Alberta)
Tasha Fox, Teslin Tlingit Council (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory)
Connie Kaysaywaysemat, Carry the Kettle First Nation (Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan)
Pam Kootenay, Enoch Cree Nation (Edmonton, Alberta)
Sonya Large, Saddle Lake Cree Nation (St. Paul, Alberta)
Trevor Larocque, Louis Bull Tribe (Red Deer, Alberta)
Clarence Stonechild, Okanese First Nation (Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan)
Lonnie Willier, Kapawe’no First Nation (Slave Lake, Alberta)
Trina Young, Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation (Grand Prairie, Alberta)

The Housing Manager Certification Program was funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group and Indigenous Services Canada.