Bill Cook says he enrolled in the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC), started his career in Cree language, and met his wife all by chance.
When Bill applied to several universities across the country, he made a decision to enroll in the first institution that accepted his application.
“Whoever sends me the letter first is where I’m going to live,” remembers Bill.
Moving to Regina and entering the Business Administration Program at SIFC was all left up to chance, and the arrival of the first sealed envelope that came in the mail.
During his studies, Bill received a certificate in the Language Instructor Program.
Bill’s first language is Cree, and he spent most of his younger years in his community of Southend, Saskatchewan.
His intention was to become a student tutor as he studied business.
However that changed when he was visiting elders in Alberta one summer.
After receiving guidance, he furthered his knowledge and education in the Cree Language Studies Program.
“That’s what I need to do, that’s why I am here,” Bill says reflecting on the moment that changed his life.
Since then, Bill has worked throughout the province as a Cree Language Instructor. He currently works at the Payepot First Nation and is a sessional instructor at the First Nations University of Canada.
He is also in the Master’s program in Education at the University of Regina.
Bill even met his wife during his first semester at SIFC, and together they have four children and currently live in Regina, Saskatchewan.
He also teaches and shares the Cree language through music and singing. His hope in the future is to work at the First Nations University of Canada full time, preserving the Cree language.
His mission is to, “Do what I can as a helper of the language.”