Q: What's your story?
A: I was born in Meadow Lake, and have lived in Green Lake, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and now Saskatoon. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Cypress Hills on the farm that my mom grew up on, and I have also spent a lot of time in the Cumberland House Delta on the land that my dad grew up on. Education has always been important to me. I moved to Saskatoon to attend university. I have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and Political Studies, a Master of Arts in Native Studies, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Edwards School of Business. I hope to continue to have a great career here at the university. My husband and I also have aspirations to start our own business and work directly with First Nations and Metis communities in Saskatchewan.
Q: What's your role at uSask?
A: As the Indigenous Recruitment Specialist, I support the recruitment of outstanding faculty and staff to the university, with a strategic focus on the recruitment, retention and advancement of Indigenous people. I also provide support to the development of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which is committed to achieving a representative workforce where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
Q: What do you like best about the work you do?
A: I am a proud Cree/Metis woman, and I love that I have a role in recruiting Indigenous people to various roles at the university and ensuring that diversity, inclusion and employment equity are an institutional priority. I hope that the work that I do paves the way for more initiatives in the future, and helps the university become an employer of choice. I was always proud to be a student at the university, and now I am proud to be an employee here.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're NOT at work? How do you 'unplug'?
A: I love keeping fit and having fun! My husband and I are often referred to as Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. I enjoy volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, golf, bowling, and am always willing to try new sports. I also enjoy volunteering – I am a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon, and the highlight of my week is spending time with my Little Sister!
Q: Can you talk about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be most significant in your career at uSask?
A: I have had many roles at the university, as an undergraduate and graduate student. I was a teaching assistant, research assistant, program assistant and events coordinator, a member of two student councils and have served on a number of committees. Throughout my 12 years at the university, my biggest accomplishment is breaking out of my shell and becoming a confident, young professional. I started out as a very shy girl who was scared to speak in front of a group of people but I have come a long way since then. Through the knowledge I have gained, the experiences that I have had here, and the people who support and encourage me, I realize that I have an important perspective to offer and that my voice matters at the university.
Q: Three words to describe working at uSask?
A: Fun. Exciting. Friendly.
Q: Three highlights of your personal life?
A: The first time I went hunting with my dad, the day I got married and the day that I graduated with my MBA. I wore my Fancy Shaw Regalia (which my mom made for me) as I walked across the stage.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: I listen to a lot of Alternative Rock, and usually enjoy whatever is on the radio.
Q: When are you happiest at uSask?
A: I am happiest when I am with my friends and close colleagues. We support and motivate each other and it’s nice to know that you have people rooting for you to succeed.
Q: What one actor would you want to play you, in a movie about your work life at uSask?
A: Only I can play me.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to work at uSask?
A: There are a lot of opportunities on campus. Just because we are an academic institution, it doesn’t mean that you need to have an academic background to work here. We are a very diverse community, and you can come from almost any educational background and find a job that’s a perfect fit for you.