Piiksipitaakii, Andrea True Joy Fox (BA/BEd '09) chose to complete her graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge because she had an incredible undergrad experience where she shared meaningful connections with colleagues and instructors.
It was important for me to complete my studies on Blackfoot territory, where the University of Lethbridge is located; having that physical connection to the places my ancestors have walked through before has made it very meaningful for me.
Please tell us about your work-integrated learning experiences at ULethbridge?
I enjoyed the experience of completing an independent studies course during my undergrad years because it was so much fun learning through a self-directed approach; I connected my art education studies with my Blackfoot culture.
As a graduate student, I love being part of the research team that collaborates on the Blackfoot Digital Arts Project and the Grasslands Project with Dr. Josephine Mills, Blackfoot Elders, faculty and students. It has been a unique opportunity to connect with the various learning communities I'm involved in.
I am also very excited about the research I am conducting for my MA, individualized multidisciplinary program, which has brought me back to a self-directed learning approach. I get to fuse my arts and teaching backgrounds as an Indigenous Podcast Host and Producer for my podcast, Talks With A Fox Podcast, with my MA studies by connecting it to my research. My research focuses on creating a safe space for Indigenous voices in digital learning spaces through podcasting.
As a Blackfoot podcaster and graduate student, I believe more people need to access knowledge and share connections through self-advocacy, cultures, languages, histories and stories.
My podcast has reached listeners worldwide and has been accessed as a teaching tool for others to connect, engage, learn and share. It is an incredible feeling to have the support of my supervisor and supervisory committee, who believe in my research and support me.
What has been your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Connecting the research for my MA with my podcast, Talks With A Fox Podcast has been incredible! I have been super grateful to receive several scholarships during my undergrad years and as a graduate student. In my final year as an undergrad student, I was super thrilled to receive the David Lanier Memorial Award and have photography on display at the Annual Student Juried Art Show for photography!
Is there someone specific who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
I would like to acknowledge Blackfoot Elder Makoyiipookaa (Bruce Wolf Child) who has shared his wisdom and support throughout my journey as a student. His traditional teachings have been instrumental to my learning journey and guide how I conduct research in respectful ways that honours protocols and cultural teachings, as well as informing my educational practices as an educator.
I am blessed to have such a supportive supervisor in Dr. Josephine Mills, who nurtures my learning approaches and provides a supportive voice to my research. She immediately trusted the direction of my research and always provides me with the space to learn and grow as a graduate student. Dr. Mills takes a very respectful approach when working with Blackfoot and Indigenous students and elders. This is evident in the meaningful connections and relationships she forms and maintains with the Blackfoot and Indigenous communities with whom she has worked.
What advice would you give to those about to begin their ULethbridge journey?
Embrace your learning journey, remain open to new perspectives, and remember to enjoy this experience! Ask for help and find support areas on campus, which can be accessed through programming and people. There are many opportunities for you to consider and discover at the University of Lethbridge. Be your own advocate, and know that there will be people to support you because your voice matters!
Favourite class: Curriculum and Instruction for Non-Majors, Dramatic Arts with Dr. John Poulsen.
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: Attending live music concerts at the U of L theatre.
Favourite place to study: At home in my office with a warm cup of tea and a good playlist!
- Paid work terms
- Hands-on career & research experience
- International study
- Awards, scholarships and a range of student support