Lorraine Dick grew up around a town that was near many reserves. Very early on she noticed that people were not very accepting of the Cree and Blackfoot people that were a part of the community.
When Lorraine witnessed the way the First Nations people were treated, she felt uneasy and confused.
“I didn’t buy into the attitude but I also didn’t have the information I needed to understand why things were the way they were,” says Lorraine.
Lorraine not only witnessed such negative acts out in public, but also in school and even at home. She saw teachers treat her Indigenous peers different than the non-Indigenous people. At home, her father spoke many times about “‘Drunken Indians,’” she says.
This sparked interest for Lorraine to learn more, and she had many questions. After graduating high school, she moved from Fort Qu’Appelle in 1974 and entered what was then known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated Collage (SIFC).
“It wasn’t until I walked through the doors of SIFC that I finally found my answers,” says Lorraine.
Attending SIFC opened Lorraine’s eyes and answered so many questions, and it also allowed her to explore Aboriginal culture. She was able to see the Indigenous perspective and enjoyed getting to know her First Nations peers.
While being there she says she felt like ‘part of a family.’
Lorraine graduated from SIFC in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Indian Studies. Since then, she started her own company, ASSESS. Lorraine has also lived all across Canada and says she will soon be retiring.
“The one thing that has been consistent in my life is my desire to correct the prejudices that uninformed white people have towards our native brothers and sisters,” says Lorraine. “to share the knowledge that I gleaned from my studies.”