Tara Acoose has always wanted to show her children that opportunities are there for First Nations and Métis peoples.
A past student of SIFC (Saskatchewan Indian Federated College) and the University of Regina, Acoose has worked in the public sector for both the provincial and federal governments.
She started her education at SIFC in 1995 and graduated in 2001. More recently, Tara graduated from the University of Regina with a Masters of Public Administration in 2015.
She pursued her education at SIFC because of the community support at the university.
“SIFC offered a cultural environment unique to any other institution at that time” she says. “At a personal level, the connection most important for me was the sense of belonging and support as I went through the program.”
During her time at SIFC, she studied part time and worked full time as a public servant.
“The classes were relevant to my work and furthered my understanding of issues and how I could use that to influence public policy as a public servant,” says Tara. “I gained an Indigenous perspective that you would not get anywhere else at the time.”
The impact that her education had was a personal one because she wanted to set an example for her children.
“I wanted to show them that there are many opportunities for First Nations and Métis people,” said Tara.
As a government official, she uses her education to influence change in government.
“The low representation of First Nations and Métis employees in government/public sector needs to change,” says Tara.
In the future, she sees herself in a position of influence and change, ensuring that a First Nations’ perspective is included in public policy.