As a single mother, struggling to support her daughter and educate herself at the same time, Faye Cote had no idea her determination to get a higher education would set exactly the kind of example she always hoped to for her daughter.
Faye worked as an Administration Assistant at SIFC (Saskatchewan Indian Federated College), today known as the First Nations University of Canada.
Faye wanted to get a higher education, but she needed to work to provide for her daughter.
After seven years on the job, she had a comfortable routine and doubted she’d be smart enough to succeed in university.
That changed thanks to Professor Jack Tarasoff, who used to chat with the staff at SIFC and encouraged her to try to take a class. She began taking classes part time while also working full-time.
By 1997, Faye had completed her first certificate in Business Administration. The next year she got the higher certificate; and then, in 2003, she received her diploma.
Faye’s education helped her land a job as a Business Administrator at the university with more responsibility.
As she juggled her career and raising her daughter alone, Faye kept involved in healthy activities such as ball. But her when her daughter became a teenager she fell in with the wrong crowd, and she was introduced to bad habits like smoking and drinking.
Soon after, Faye began working for Admissions in the Nursing Program. However, that also meant transferring to Prince Albert.
As luck would have it, that meant relocating her daughter and things turned around. But Faye did more than just move her daughter from a negative scene; she gave her tough love as well.
“You’re too lazy to be a waitress so you might as well go to school,” Faye says with a laugh as she repeats the advice she gave.
Her daughter returned to school and attended the First Nations University of Canada in Prince Albert and finished her degree in Saskatoon.
Faye laughs when she remembers her daughter introducing herself to the class, “she said, ‘I came to First Nations University because my mom told me to.’”
The girl’s hard work paid off when she became a Social Worker. Faye’s sense of relief and pride as a parent is evident in her smile as she talks about the accomplishment.
In 2013, Cote was transferred back to the Regina campus to work in Business Administration.