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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

Post-secondary education focus of upcoming PWPSD Indigenous Speakers Series

April 03, 2019

Grande Prairie, AB – Two Indigenous professionals will share their journeys in post-secondary education and participate in interactive panels with students at three schools throughout Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) on April 8-10, 2019. 


Thomas Laboucan-Avirom, Bachelor of Arts, University of Victoria; Juris Doctor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Originally from the Woodland Cree First Nation and Peace River, Mr. Laboucan-Avirom began his studies at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) and acquired degrees in English and Law from the University of Victoria (UVic) and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. As a student at UVic, he held elected positions with the Law Students' Society; was a founding member of the National Indigenous Law Students' Association; was a writer and activist; contributed to a project that will bring one of Alberta's largest solar power projects to Cadotte Lake; completed a semester abroad aiding the Maya Leaders Alliance in Belize with Indigenous rights and title; briefly attended Law School at New Zealand's Wellington University; spent a semester working for UVic's esteemed Environmental Law Centre; and then worked at Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP (OKT) Law in Toronto. He now articles at OKT's Yellowknife office while working toward the Bar Exam.

Andrea Deleeuw, Bachelor of Social Work, University of Calgary
Originally from Fort Vermillion, Ms. Deleeuw began her post-secondary education at GPRC and is now in her third year of the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Calgary. At GPRC, she served as the secretary and president of the Circle of Indigenous Students while maintaining an impressive Grade Point Average. She also served as Aboriginal Youth Council treasurer under the umbrella of the National Association of Friendship Centres. She received two Spirit Seekers Youth Role Model Awards in the Health and Wellness and Community Service categories, and was recently nominated for a Grande Prairie Women of Influence Award. She is a Learning Clicks Ambassador with the Government of Alberta, working to prepare youth for post-secondary education.

"Our students will be motivated by the stories Mr. Laboucan-Avirom and Ms. Deleeuw will share," says Brigitte Benning, Indigenous Educator at PWPSD, who organizes the Indigenous Speakers Series.  

"They are relatable people who are both known for their ability to inspire others with their passion for community, justice and learning. Our students will see a part of themselves in these role models, and will leave the sessions filled with excitement and ideas for their own futures."


Monday, April 8Peace Wapiti Academy
Time: 9:55 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Class: IPlan period
Sexsmith Secondary School
Time: 12:55 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Class: Aboriginal Studies
Tuesday, April 9 Ridgevalley School
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10

Peace Wapiti Academy
Time: 9:55 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Class: IPlan period


Photo caption: Two guest speakers will share their post-secondary journeys at three schools during the PWPSD Indigenous Speakers Series on April 8-10, 2019.