<What Education have you taken?
My Name is Candace Richard and I am from Sandy Bay First Nation. I graduated in 1998 from Isaac Beaulieu Memorial School and have attended Yellowquill College and Winnipeg Technical College. I am currently finishing my three-year Bachelor of Arts majoring in Native Studies and Art History. I will graduate in spring 2020, and plan to continue my studies and get into the after-degree Education program.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I received an award for Highest Academic and was Valedictorian in my graduating class at Winnipeg Technical College. I was also selected to represent Brandon University and my community in an upcoming conference regarding Cyber security in London, Ontario. I have volunteered with different organizations, such as the 97 Red River Flood and the 2011 Flood, and have walked with Brandon Bear Clan. I am also proud of the fact I am learning to bead and sew. I had the honour of making my first pair of moccasins and gifting them to one of my professors, who will be wearing them when she receives her PhD degree this spring.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
My family has been my biggest inspiration to continue with my education. Both my parents and grandparents attended the residential school system, so this gave me the courage to go back to school to find out the truth about the schools and how and what they were designed to do, as growing up I was not allowed to ask or mention the residential school to my grandparents. Now, learning about the schools and what the purpose was, has given me a better understanding of why some Indigenous peoples are struggling today. I want to be able to educate others on how intergenerational trauma has played a role in our families’ lives because of the results of the residential school system.
Tell us about yourself
I am a stepmom and foster parent. I am the oldest of 5 siblings. I am a research assistant in the math and science department researching Indigenous cyber security in First Nations communities. I love attending gatherings that involve my culture as I believe it to be very important. I love helping others, and giving back. Education has always been important to me as my parents pushed hard to send me to school, which I thank them for.
What is your philosophy in life?
To be humble and show kindness and respect to others as you do not walk in their shoes.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Going back to my community and teaching. And hoping that I could help others see that culture and language are a big part in healing in Indigenous communities, and establishing a Healing Centre for our youth and community members who are struggling with addictions.
Candace Richard is working on a project under the supervision of two of us in the Mathematics/ Computer Science Department entitled “Cybersecurity Through Indigenous Lens”, funded by a Community Investment Grant from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). The project is a knowledge-sharing community engagement project aimed at broadening public understanding of cybersecurity. The project was started in September 2019 and is ongoing. It is aimed specifically at facilitating broad-interest workshops on cybersecurity in rural First Nations communities in Western Manitoba. Participants of the workshops will gain broad understanding of cybersecurity, as well as practical information on security and data protection.
This is very much a student-led project, and Candace has been an integral part of the work. She is a dedicated hard worker, with attention to detail; she is honest, open, and caring.
Candace is from Sandy Bay First Nation and has four step-children and two grandchildren who all keep her very busy. She wants to be a role model to her peers and to her community. She has risen up from serious personal obstacles which would have been insurmountable to most others. She is in her final year of a BA, majoring in Native Studies and Minoring in Aboriginal Art History.
We highly recommend Candace to be honoured at the International Women’s Day event.