'I want Indigenous students to think: Concordia's for me'
Orenda Konwawennontion Boucher-Curotte has had an exciting last couple of months.
In August, she started her first term as coordinator of the Aboriginal Student Resource Centre (ARSC) at Concordia
As a graduate, Boucher-Curotte (BA 09, MA 13) says the position holds special significance for her — she benefited from the centre’s services while completing her two degrees.
“The ASRC provided a wonderful support system and helped me realize success during my studies,” she says. ”I used the lab, created networks and made some of my closest friends here. I’m excited that things have come full circle.”
The Kahnawà:ke Mohawk writer and activist brings a wealth of experience to her new post, having served as the coordinator of Dawson College’s First Peoples’ Centre (FPC) for the past year.
“In that short time, Orenda worked closely with her colleagues at Dawson to raise the profile of the centre both internally and externally,” says Andrew Woodall, Concordia’s dean of students.
“Under Orenda's careful leadership, the FPC doubled the number of students coming through its doors and initiated new projects such as the Three Sisters Garden.”
The garden is an idea she also hopes to establish at Concordia, on top of providing more support to Aboriginal graduate students.
“I want to create a support system so strong that when applying, Indigenous students think, ‘I know Concordia is the place for me. I know people there will understand what I'm going through,’” Boucher-Curotte says.
Charmaine Lyn, senior director of the Office of Community Engagement, says she expects Boucher-Curotte to bring a lot of depth to the role.
“From her own perspectives as an undergraduate and graduate student, to her experience as a post-secondary educator and her achievements in shaping Indigenous student support at Dawson College, Orenda is deeply committed,” Lyn says.
“She brings the knowledge, skills, temperament and vision to help students flourish.”
Find out more about the Aboriginal Student Resource Centre.