Paving the way for a future in politics

Joseph Pimlott returns to his roots to guide the next generation.

If it weren’t for Bow Valley College, Joseph Pimlott may not have gone into politics.

The former provincial vice-president for the Métis Nation of Alberta says it was getting involved in student politics at Bow Valley College that sparked his interest in working with the community. “I never would have thought about it had I not done that,” says Joseph, who worked his way up to president of the Students’ Association of Bow Valley College while in academic upgrading from 2002 to 2005. 

Joseph returned to the College in 2007 to get his Events Management Certificate, which led to his first job as event coordinator with the Métis Nation of Alberta. When that position wrapped, he stayed on as a Youth and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) coordinator. Three years later, he was elected regional vice-president, and three years after that was elected provincial vice-president. He then became executive director of the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary. Now returning to school for a Bachelor of Management in Indigenous Nations and Organizations, Joseph is a name to watch in Alberta’s future. 

Back in 2002, when Joseph was looking at colleges for upgrading, he liked Bow Valley College for a few reasons. It was transit-accessible, the staff was helpful, and the curriculum was well-designed. By the time he started working for the Métis Nation of Alberta, he realized the curriculum of his Events Management Certificate had been just as strong. “I think with the diversity of the curriculum, I was able to utilize those skills and talents and apply them to virtually everything that I was able to do in my vice-president position with the Métis Nation. The stuff we learned at Bow Valley College enabled me to do that public speaking, the door knocking or the cold calling.” 

Another thing Joseph really enjoyed about the College was its pro-parent culture. His instructors understood that as a parent, some days, he may have needed a few hours off or even a day. “I think that was probably one of the most comfortable things that Bow Valley College truly understood,” he says. 

Joseph also thinks that when you’ve worked with an organization for so many years, it’s important that you support them. He’s done that with the College by sitting on the Advisory Council (for the Iniikokaan Centre) as well as the advisory circle that was put together at the College after the Truth and Reconciliation Act Commission published its calls to action. Young people have a lot to contribute to their generation, the next generation, and the following one, he says. “I hope that over the course of the past few years, my assistance has done some good to some of the younger people.”   

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