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Making a difference in the Siksika community

Giving back helps others achieve success.

Erwin Bear Chief has always had two goals. The first was to get an education. The second was to help his community. 

The School of Community Studies has helped him achieve both.

From Siksika Nation, Erwin first came to Bow Valley College for his Education Assistant Certificate. Then, he completed his Disability Studies Diploma. For his disability studies practicum, he arranged to work in the Disabilities Services department at Siksika Nation. “[Bow Valley College] had set me up in the city, but I wanted to go back to my community,” says Erwin. 

Erwin made the phone call to Siksika Nation. The director of Disabilities Services was eager to bring him on board.

Erwin went from doing administrative duties to coordinating events. He participated in planning a symposium that raised awareness of the programs just launched by Disabilities Services at Siksika Nation. Those programs aim to make schools and workplaces more accessible by giving them features like ramps and doors wide enough for wheelchairs.

Erwin also planned a golf tournament to fundraise for people with disabilities and presented his research on housing for people with limited mobility to the chief and council. Now, Erwin is the career employment and information consultant at Old Sun Community College in Siksika. There, he coaches students through the process of upgrading their skills and applying to post-secondary schools. He also continues to plan events and does research towards helping students with disabilities.

“I’m still helping out my community even though my job positions have changed throughout the years,” says Erwin. “It’s always been my goal to help out my community in whatever field I get into.”

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