Sarah Gazan

What education have you taken?

I have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg. I am presently enrolled in the Masters of Education program at Brandon.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I was always taught by my mother to be humble about my accomplishments.

Tell me about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I am a member of the Wood Mountain Lakota Nation. I have experience working in education as a teacher and in areas’ community and program development. Most of my work has been with First Nations communities in Northern Manitoba. I am very grateful to the people and the communities that I have worked with as I have learned so much over the years. I am presently working as a Policy, Reporting and Grant Consultant with the School District of Mystery Lake. My two greatest mentors were and are my parents who taught me about social justice, love and kindness.  I have a wonderful and supportive partner, Leslie, two beautiful daughters, Kaya and Hannah and three beautiful step daughters, Alicia, Felicia and April. I have one sweet granddaughter, Lena.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I think I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher because I really enjoyed being with children.  I think that as I teacher that I have always believed that education is more than just academic success but it is about helping students to develop their sense of self-worth and identity.  Part of the reason that I returned to school was because I needed to develop a more theoretical understanding of my work and to take the opportunity to reflect and enhance my practical and technical skills.

What is your philosophy in life?

I was taught from a young age that we have a responsibility to care for one another and to engage in practices in our personal and professional lives that support social justice and equity. I think that has to do with understanding our own humanity and humanness; understanding that we make mistakes and that we can learn from them, that we all have gifts to celebrate and that it is important to have a purpose in life which may change as we go through different stages. Right now, I think that my most important purpose is raising my children to be good human beings. I try to live my life guided by the values of dignity, honesty, respect, kindness, sharing, caring and courage as I think that is the foundation for a good life.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I really enjoy the work that I am doing today and as I tend to take life as it comes I have not made too many big plans for the future other than completing my Masters and raising my children.

Nominator’s Comments:

Sarah’s written work is exemplary.  When Sarah chooses to add to class discussion, she is open, honest and humorous.  I have  a feeling that Sarah has quite an impact on her community.  Her Thompson cohort members look to her for support with their academic  tasks.  Sarah has been a significant support to researchers in the community and she is someone who makes things happen.