As one of the first non-Aboriginal people attending the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) in the late 70s and early 80s, Roxane Schury says she immediately felt a sense of community and acceptance from everyone she met.
Roxane had an interest in Indigenous cultures, lives, and issues since childhood. This inspired her to move from Beechy, Saskatchewan to Regina in 1978 to attended SIFC.
Throughout her elementary and high school education, Roxane witnessed a lot of racism toward her First Nations peers. This made her want to learn more about Indigenous people.
After her orientation and learning about SIFC she knew FNUniv was where she wanted to be. She says her first day at SIFC was important because this was the day she met Laura Wasacase, the counselor at that time.
“It felt like this, like her arms were out and she was welcoming,” says Roxane.
Soon after registering, Roxane realized she was the only non-Aboriginal person in her program enrolled at SIFC and was also one of the first non-Aboriginal people to attend the school as well. This didn’t make her uncomfortable at all.
While at SIFC, she says she was always welcomed and made friends that have lasted a life time.
“(They) gave you sense of a home away from home,” says Roxane.
Roxane says she also studied under many great professors, all of whom were very involved with each student’s studies. But, when she thinks back, Walter Curry really stands out.
“He was like a father figure,” she says.
Walter Curry was a wise man, but also knew how to engage students to keep them from being bored when teaching difficult subjects. Roxane says he was also always making people laugh, treated everyone like family, and was a source of encouragement for everyone.
Roxane says she really appreciated him and so did many of her peers.
Roxane says going to SIFC was, “like being, being in a small community within the university.”
Today, Roxane works for the Ministry of Social Services in Regina and is currently the Director of Program Effectiveness for Child and Family Programs.