Succes Stories

Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue a higher education at prestigious universities in Quebec and beyond including: McGill, Concordia, Bishop’s, Carleton, Ottawa University, Université Laval, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), and the Université de Sherbrooke.

Kiuna graduates have chosen a variety of disciplines: geography, psychology, education, political science, business administration, computer graphics, communications, social work, criminology, anthropology, etc.

Kiuna’s Graduates

Here are the profiles of 30 Kiuna graduates out of 92. The remaining profiles will be published shortly.

Raphaëlle O’Bomsawin

Raphaëlle O’Bomsawin

From Odanak
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2016

Studying educational support at the Cégep de Sorel-Tracy

Raphaëlle says Kiuna helped her transition from high school to college.  She hopes to get an undergraduate degree in psychoeducation and work with school children.

Lézianne Duchesne

Lézianne Duchesne

From Manawan
Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts graduate, class of 2014.

Although Léziane had to strike a balance between family and studies, her time at Kiuna was a very rewarding experience. She felt at home right away since an Aboriginal spirit of community is prevalent at the college and its educational approach focuses on culture and identity. 

Since obtaining her diploma, Léziane has been working as a special education assistant at Seskitin Elementary School in the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci.

Pamela Duciaume

Pamela Duciaume

From Mashteuiatsh
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Holder of a certificate in youth work from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
Studying Indigenous wellness and addiction prevention at UQAC

Pamela believes that her adventure at Kiuna has given her hope in life and has enabled her to surpass herself at a time when she was questioning her academic future. She rediscovered her Aboriginal identity at Kiuna, and acquired the tools she needs to return to work in her community one day.  

She is currently working as a cultural facilitator at the Centre des Premières Nations Nikanite at UQAC.

Mathieu Lavoie

Mathieu Lavoie

From Mashteuiatsh
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

Studying carpentry and joinery at a vocational school in Jonquière

After studying environmental science at the Université de Sherbrooke, Mathieu decided to take a different path and venture into carpentry and joinery.

Cheyenne Flamand

Cheyenne Flamand

From Manawan
Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts graduate, class of 2014.

Undergraduate student in special education at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Cheyenne decided to enroll in the Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts certificate program when it was launched at Kiuna in 2013. After a brief time at another college, this young mother found her calling in a program that allowed her to grow on many levels. 

After her studies at Kiuna, Cheyenne was hired as a special education teacher at Niska Elementary School in the Atikamekw community of Opitciwan. 

Iohsennóntion Lahache

Iohsennóntion Lahache

From Kahnawake
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2016.

Undergraduate student in economics and political science at Concordia University

The two years Iohsennóntion spent at Kiuna gave her the opportunity to broaden her horizons and prepare herself for today’s reality in the workplace. Iohsennóntion made a name for herself by being culturally engaged. She gave lessons on the Mohawk language and taught students and staff members how to make moccasins.

For one summer, she worked as a junior business analyst at the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.

Madie Ottawa

Madie Ottawa

From Manawan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

Undergraduate student in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal

Before studying at Kiuna, Madie had always attended schools in the Quebec school system, so it was the first school she attended in an Aboriginal community and in a First Nations context. Madie set new goals for herself, and became even more determined to get an education, succeed and return to her community to contribute to its development.

She also learned how important it is to make education her new tradition, and hopes to inspire other young Aboriginals of her generation to get an education and believe in their potential.

Catherine Boivin

Catherine Boivin

From Wemotaci
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2016.

Undergraduate student in visual and media arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal

Catherine was able to showcase her notable artistic talent in music, photography, stage makeup, and audiovisual production through her involvement in a variety of activities organized at Kiuna. Maximizing her talents enabled her to further her desire to pursue university studies in art.

In 2018, Catherine was awarded the Manitou-Kiuna Prize issued each year by Kiuna Institution and the First Nations Education Council to celebrate graduates who go on to study the arts at the university level.  

Jimmy-Angel Bossum

Jimmy-Angel Bossum

From Mashteuiatsh
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in sociology and anthropology at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

When Jimmy-Angel enrolled at Kiuna, he had great expectations that were aptly fulfilled. He hoped to find a one-of-a-kind college that stood out from the others through its emphasis on First Nations culture and issues, and he found an environment that allowed him to thrive as a young Aboriginal. He is convinced that Kiuna will meet the educational needs of future generations and will help them develop the skills they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.

To deepen his knowledge of First Nations issues and further his analytical skills, Jimmy-Angel has decided to seek a university degree in sociology.

Olivier Desterres-Dubé

Olivier Desterres-Dubé

From Pessamit and Manawan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2016.

Undergraduate student in economics and political science at Concordia University 

Olivier is deeply interested in music and literature, and decided to enroll at Kiuna and leave the college that was not a good fit for him. He quickly discovered that Kiuna gives First Nations an incredible opportunity, and is grateful for all the support he received there. While raising his awareness of Aboriginal realities, Kiuna gave him new options for the future and the required tools to make them possible. 

After completing his studies, Olivier intends to contribute to the development of Aboriginal communities.

Terry-Randy Awashish

Terry-Randy Awashish

From Opitciwan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

Holder of a certificate in plastic arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Undergraduate student in graphic design at UQAM

Terry-Randy showed incredible determination to succeed and complete his college studies at Kiuna. He was also noticed for his great artistic talents, including photography and computer graphics design, which he was able to showcase in his schoolwork and his professional experience. 

He is an independent multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer whose works have been exhibited in several venues in Montréal. Terry-Randy was also awarded the first Manitou-Kiuna Prize in 2017 by Kiuna Institution and the First Nations Education Council.

He is president of the Cercle des Premières Nations at UQAM.

Diane Flamand

Diane Flamand

From Manawan
Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts graduate,
class of 2014.

Diane’s return to school would not have been possible without the support of her family. At 53, she made the decision to acquire new career tools and deepen her knowledge, and enrolled in the special education certificate program offered at Kiuna. Now she can share her college experience with her daughter who is enrolled in Kiuna’s First Nations Social Science program. This mother-daughter duo gave Diane the strength to persevere and obtain her diploma.

Diane is a special education assistant at Otapi Secondary School in Manawan.

 Marylène Flamand

Marylène Flamand

From Manawan
Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts graduate,
class of 2014.

Marylène was a member of the first group of students Kiuna welcomed in 2011. She was enrolled in the First Nations Social Science program, but then in 2013, crossed over to Kiuna’s special education certificate program. Marylène has always shown determination in her quest for success and unwavering perseverance.

These qualities have enabled her to achieve her goals. Since obtaining her diploma, Marylène has been working with youngsters as an early childhood educator at the Premier Pas daycare centre in Trois-Rivières

Uapukun Mestokosho-McKenzie

Uapukun Mestokosho-McKenzie

From Ekuanitshit
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2013.

Undergraduate student in outdoor leadership at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Uapukun dreamed about a college like Kiuna where she could get an education that respects her values and highlights the legacy of her ancestors. As soon as she found out that Kiuna was in the works, she was eager to enroll. The creation of the Institution was a historical turning point for her, and convinced her that anything is possible.

Uapukun is very dedicated to the land and its traditions, and in 2015, she wrote and directed Shipu (river); a documentary on river conservation and reclaiming Indigenous identity. In April 2018, she was a guest filmmaker at the Rights to Indigenous Communications: Media as a Tool for Social Transformation conference—a side event of the 17th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

 Tehawenhni’tathe Bradley Cross

Tehawenhni’tathe Bradley Cross

From Kahnawake 
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in political science at Concordia University

Bradley’s time at Kiuna provided him with the necessary skills to succeed not only at the university level, but also in life. Being exposed to the many First Nations cultures united at Kiuna gave him a new perspective on what it means to “be Indigenous”. Bradley’s goal is to contribute to his confederacy. 

Miguel Coocoo-Chachai

Miguel Coocoo-Chachai

From Wemotaci
Administration for First Nations and Inuit graduate,
class of 2015.

Enrolled in the First Nations Social Science program at Kiuna Institution

Pride, family and academic skills: these are the words that come to Miguel’s mind when describing the environment at Kiuna. Father of two young children, Miguel finished his studies in administration before enrolling in the social science program. Studying alongside students in this program motivated Miguel to learn more about First Nations social sciences.

In September 2016, Miguel decided to travel the 185 km distance between Odanak and Wendake on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women.  

Tewateronhia:khwa Jordan Nelson

Tewateronhia:khwa Jordan Nelson

From Kanesatake
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2016.

Undergraduate student in criminology and criminal justice at Carleton University

By teaching her responsibility, independence and determination, Kiuna has helped Jordan clarify her career path and has prepared her for the future. She is happy to have followed in her sister’s footsteps.

Aspiring to become a criminal lawyer for young Aboriginals, Jordon hopes to enter the faculty of law in September 2019 after she obtains her bachelor’s in April 2019.

Jordan works for the federal government as a junior employment equity advisor in the Human Resources Division of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

 Danysa Régis-Labbé

Danysa Régis-Labbé

From Pessamit
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in early childhood and elementary education at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

For Danysa, Kiuna is a big, wonderful, understanding family that is tolerant and dependable. Kiuna made it possible for Danysa to learn about her history, deepen her pride in her identity, and have the courage to believe that she can make a difference in the future of her nation.

After working as a teacher, she would like to become an elementary or secondary school principal in a First Nations community. Inspired by Kiuna, she intends to promote First Nations cultures and recreate Kiuna’s close-knit community of students, teachers and staff members. Danysa tries to incorporate this approach in everything she undertakes.

Jade McComber

Jade McComber

From Kahnawake
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in the First Peoples Studies program at Concordia University

Jade’s perception of First Nations and education has changed thanks to her studies at Kiuna. She used to hear only negative remarks about Aboriginals. She realized that First Nations have accomplished great things, and are able to accomplish many more.

Jade now has a better appreciation for education. She believes that anyone can learn and succeed when they invest in their education. This is what will allow First Nations to progress.

Claudie Ottawa

Claudie Ottawa

From Manawan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2013.

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and French from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
Graduate student in linguistics at UQAC

Claudie enrolled in the First Nations Social Science program because she wanted to further her education. That was a wise decision because not only has Kiuna prepared her for university; it has given her so much more.

Studying at Kiuna made her realize that when you believe in yourself and work hard, there is no way you can fail. She firmly believes that she is directly responsible for her own success.  

Her time at Kiuna also gave her the opportunity to meet extraordinary and inspiring people from other nations. She is more determined than ever to help her community and her nation, and has made preservation of the Atikamekw language a priority.

Annick Ottawa

Annick Ottawa

From Manawan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2013.

Undergraduate student in early childhood and elementary education at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi 

When Annick enrolled at Kiuna in April 2011, her first goal was to obtain a college diploma to provide a better future for her son who was two years old at the time. Her second goal was to get a university degree in education so she could teach her fellow community members and be a role model for them. Annick has found her calling. Her studies at Kiuna allowed her to discover her strengths, and made her realize that she needs to work hard to go far in life. Today, as a mother of two, Annick really hopes that her children can one day attend Kiuna and benefit from all the school has to offer.

 Justine M’Sadoques-Plourde

Justine M’Sadoques-Plourde

From Odanak
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

Holder of a certificate in visual arts from the Université de Sherbrooke
Undergraduate student in art education at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Justine, an inborn artist, knew from an early age that she wanted to study art education. During her time at Kiuna, her interests and ambitions were fulfilled through Kiuna’s curriculum and extracurricular activities that give a prominent place to the arts. The strong presence of artisans and Indigenous artists and their generosity toward students enabled Justine to nourish her creativity, keep her dream alive and put it within reach.

Olivia Wahsontiióhsta Diabo

Olivia Wahsontiióhsta Diabo

From Kahnawake
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in environmental studies and geography at Bishop’s University 

When Olivia applied to Kiuna in 2013, she thought she would spend only one year in the First Nations Social Science program. She quickly changed her mind. Although the program was very challenging, Olivia enjoyed it so much that she stayed the whole two years and completed her college studies.

Kiuna broadened her perspective of the world and enabled her to not only discover other First Nations, but also learn more about her own. She also gained the knowledge she needed to prepare her for university. 

Lucie Martin

Lucie Martin

From Unamen Shipu 
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

When Lucie arrived at Kiuna in 2012, she was uncertain about her future plans. Through her courses and the ties she developed with the staff and her peers, she gained the self-assurance she needed to assert herself proudly as a First Nations member. Attending Kiuna enabled her to gain more confidence in her abilities and opened a door onto the world.

Strongly interested in politics and determined to invest herself in her community, Lucie was elected to the Unamen Shipu band council in 2015. She is now doing social work in the youth protection division of the Regroupement Mamit Innuat, but has not abandoned her dream of getting a degree in social work.

 Andrew Kistabish

Andrew Kistabish

From Pikogan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Studying kinesiology at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Andrew became a father while studying at Kiuna, but he pursued his studies relentlessly until he obtained his diploma. Being able to play his favourite sport was a determining factor in Andrew’s decision to attend Kiuna. He easily managed to unite his studies and his love of hockey with traditional activities while developing an interest in kinesiology.

After his certificate, Andrew plans to pursue undergraduate studies in kinesiology or psychology; a discipline for which he is developing a growing interest.

Julie Delisle

Julie Delisle

From Kahnawake
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2014.

Undergraduate student in the First Peoples Studies program at Concordia University

While attending Kiuna, Julie developed an interest in contemporary issues concerning Aboriginal peoples and their history. She decided to further her knowledge of Aboriginal history, law and politics so that she could give back to her community, help other First Nations communities, and educate non-native people on Aboriginal issues.

The independence she gained and the leadership skills she acquired at Kiuna have served her well at the university level and as president of the First Peoples Studies Member Association.

In her role as a youth worker in her community, Julie hopes to show young people how important it is to get an education and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

Michelle Petiquay

Michelle Petiquay

From Wemotaci
Special Education in Aboriginal Contexts graduate,
class of 2015.

Michelle is a mother of four, and began her studies in special education with the desire to become a model of perseverance and determination for her children. Michelle reached this goal when she obtained her diploma.

She was proud to be studying at Kiuna where she learned more about her culture and identity, but more importantly, she discovered just how resilient she actually is. The knowledge she acquired gave her renewed hope in the education opportunities offered to First Nations, which she shares today with the youth in her community through her employment as a special education assistant at the Six Saisons daycare centre.

 Katsi’tsahen:te Cross-Delisle

Katsi’tsahen:te Cross-Delisle

From Kahnawake 
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in anthropology and Indigenous studies at McGill University

Katsi’tsahen:te is specializing in archeology so that she can discover Mohawk communities including her own. She wants to represent her community and culture because she believes that best people to do so are First Nations members themselves. Her interest in the concepts of identity and culture stem from the fact that at Kiuna, everything is from a First Nations perspective.

Her college studies gave Katsi’tsahen:te the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that she is now putting into practice and developing further at the university level. She says she has better analytical skills, greater self-awareness and is more prepared for her evaluations. Her time at Kiuna has certainly shaped the person she is today.

 Keith Flamand

Keith Flamand

From Manawan
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2013.

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in business administration and entrepreneurship from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (2017)

Keith’s mission is help improve the quality of life in First Nations communities.

To achieve this mission, he has set several objectives. The first was to obtain his university degree in management. At that stage, he was seeking to acquire tools that would help him improve his ability to analyze, process, assess and improve management procedures and make decisions that would be in everyone’s best interests.

His second objective was to be a source of inspiration not only for his community, but for the entire Atikamekw nation. Through his time at Kiuna, he was able to network with other First Nations and establish contacts which could be useful to him in the future. This is what he envisioned for himself after graduating from Kiuna.

Keith is an analyst in the information technology services office for the Solutions and Information Management Branch of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Jennifer O’Bomsawin

Jennifer O’Bomsawin

From Wendake and Odanak
First Nations Social Science graduate,
class of 2015.

Undergraduate student in applied politics at the Université de Sherbrooke

One of Jennifer’s objectives is to change the current situation of First Nations and give back to them what has been lost for decades. She wants to become a role model for future generations.

While studying at Kiuna, she was able to learn more about her identity as a First Nations member. She now has confidence in herself and is proud of her origins. Her time at Kiuna gave her the tools to achieve her goals.

Jennifer was part of the first group of Aboriginal interns at CBC’s Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec station, and is involved in several Aboriginal organizations. She is the representative for Quebec on the AFN Youth Council, and is spokesperson for the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network.