'I just focus on doing what I can': 3 Concordians win viceregal recognition
Concordia students Brooke Wahsontiiostha Deer, Hamaad Nami and Yanina Chukhovich were recently celebrated for their hard work and dedication as volunteers.
On Sunday, April 15, the Honourable J. Michel Doyon, awarded the undergraduates with Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medals. Wahsontiiostha Deer, Nami and Chukhovich were singled out for their sustained efforts and positive influence within a group or community.
Meet two of these well-deserving Concordians who make a difference.
Brooke Wahsontiiostha Deer
Wahsontiiostha Deer is a Mohawk from Kahnawake, Quebec. She is completing her final year of the Management program at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB), and was an active member of Concordia’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Group. The aim of the group is to lead the university’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Principles for Reconciliation and Calls to Action.
“I started finding pockets of Indigenous activity on campus and it changed my relationship with academia,” she says.
“I’m glad that the Indigenous activity I’m involved with is being seen and acknowledged.”
In 2017-18, Wahsontiiostha Deer also served as the president of Concordia’s Indigenous Student Council. In this role, she was responsible for supporting Indigenous students at the university and providing them with opportunities for community building. She also ensured their needs were heard at various levels within the university administration.
This year, Wahsontiiostha Deer worked as the marketing and campaigns coordinator for the Concordia Food Coalition. She promoted all events hosted by the not-for-profit organization and moderated panels on Indigenous food security. She was also responsible for creating events in association with the Concordia Food Coalition’s annual conference.
Nami is a student in Concordia's Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science (ENCS) and president of the Muslim Students Association, one of Concordia’s biggest and most active student groups.
As president, he is responsible for organizing numerous events and activities for Muslim students and the rest of the university community, including daily prayers, speaker series and conferences. He also manages the group’s resource centre and is heavily involved in social and educational events such as Islamic Awareness Week.
“It never occurred to me that the work I've been doing would receive any recognition,” Nami says.
“I have always just focused on doing what I can. It's a core part of my personal beliefs and faith to help others, even if it's in the smallest way, which is all I'm trying to do.”
As a staff member of the Concordia Student Union’s Advocacy Centre, Nami supports students who feel their rights have been transgressed by the university or their peers. He also works closely with Concordia’s administration to ensure a safe environment for students and to promote values of faith, peace and co-existence.