Prince George, BC – The University of Northern British Columbia will launch its inaugural Aboriginal Alumni Speaker Series next week as a way to celebrate aboriginal achievements while facilitating opportunities for relationship building and knowledge sharing between alumni, students and faculty.
The series is one of the initiatives UNBC created to enhance aboriginal learning outcomes, thanks to Aboriginal Service Plan funding received from the Province of British Columbia. It will feature between eight to 10 Aboriginal alumni from across the region who have been invited to make public presentations at UNBC campuses.
“The Aboriginal Alumni Speaker Series will demonstrate the diverse and varying ways Aboriginal Alumnus are making unique contributions through employment or further education following their graduation from UNBC,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “We celebrate these accomplishments and the Aboriginal Alumni Speaker Series is an important way to share their inspiring stories.”
The series launches Monday, Jan. 18 with a presentation from Rena Zatorski, who graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2002. As an undergraduate student, she participated in a field school in Russia to study the Sakha reindeer herders.
After graduating from UNBC, Zatorski worked as a Territory researcher for her home band, the Lheidli T’enneh Nation. She served two terms as an elected councillor where she was deeply involved with that Nation’s Treaty Process and the proposed Final Agreement. She also spearheaded the Highway of Tears Symposium in 2006, which brought together more than 90 different organizations, families and the public to speak to issues surrounding missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
In 2010, Zatorski received her Certificate in Project Management through UNBC’s Continuing Studies department and in 2012 began Red Earth Management. She attends Simon Fraser University, where she’s earning her Executive Master of Business Administration through the Beedie School of Business.
UNBC has awarded 659 bachelor degrees and 103 graduate degrees to Aboriginal students. There are currently 215 Aboriginal alumni with multiple credentials and 42 who hold both an undergraduate and graduate degree from the university.
The event will be held in Agora Rm 7-152 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception at the Elders Room in the First Nations Centre. For more information about the Aboriginal Alumni Speaker Series, contact Aboriginal Community Connections Co-ordinator Veronica Haddon at 250-960-5329.