Recipient of the Faculty of Health Sciences Gold Medal
Aimée Yurris an excellent student who is self-directed at an extremely high level. During her practicum in Aboriginal Health, she took the initiative to create and implement a complex program from the ground up. Aimée worked on spearheading the University of Lethbridge Meal Exchange Chapter, a student group with the goal of advocating for a more sustainable and equitable campus food system, and connecting our campus to the national student food security movement. Aimée’s self-reflection and insight on areas to improve are impressive.
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
Traveling to Hamilton, Ont., for the 2019 Meal Exchange National Student Food Summit and subsequently doing my final practicum with Meal Exchange, an organization that focuses on student food security. It was so exciting and rewarding to get to meet students from across Canada that share my passion for food security and to take on a leadership role in my final semester.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
My academic advisor, Tara Froehlich. I met with Tara every semester and she was so helpful and supportive, especially in my second year when I changed my major to Aboriginal Health – the best decision I’ve ever made! I’m thankful to have had someone who was willing to talk things through with me and listen to my concerns as I navigated through my program.
What is the most important lesson you learned?
The importance of having respect and gratitude for the land, culture, and people that surround you. Living on Blackfoot Territory for the past four years and learning from elders, leaders in Indigenous health, and my peers has been such an enriching experience, and I am so grateful to have had these teachings instilled in my health sciences education.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
Since wrapping up the Spring semester, I have started working in my new role with the Student Support and Wellness Division of the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture and Employment. My plan has always been to return to the Northwest Territories to play a role in supporting the health and wellness of Northerners, so I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my home community and seeing what the future holds.
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary journeys?
Don’t be afraid to take the leap into something new, whether that is a new topic or idea that you want to explore, a new club or volunteer opportunity, or even a new program. My best experiences at uLethbridge came from having the courage to follow through with taking that first step into a new experience that sparked my interest.