KDFN Citizen Rennes Lindsay took dedicated care during her final year of high school to complete all of the requirements for graduation, including purposefully taking classes that would look good on her transcript.

Last spring, she was on the waitlist to get into an interior design program. Then she found out she’d been accepted into the Bachelor of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“I had a tough decision to make, but ultimately I thought the architecture program would give me more options for my future,” says Rennes.

It didn’t take long for her to realize she had made the right choice.

“As soon as I started my classes, I was in love with it,” she says. “Architecture has many visual aspects that can make a space beautiful, but the main reason I like it is how it shapes the environment of a space. Design greatly impacts how you feel in a room.”

After finishing her first year Rennes was eager to get work experience in her field. But, finding an architecture job for the summer would prove to be more difficult than she anticipated

Given this, she decided to reach out to KDFN’s Education department for support.

“I remember getting an email from KDFN about being able to help with wage subsidies, and helping citizens find jobs,” she says.

“I sent Bryan [Unruh] an email and I said: ‘This is my school, this is the kind of job I’m looking for. I could really use help. I definitely want to work full-time this summer’…. He got back to me really quickly and straight off the ball he was like ‘Ok we have this option, this option….’

This support is possible because of the Employment Placement Program funding that is available to Citizens who are post-secondary students through KDFN’s Kenädän Kų̀ – House of Learning.

Rennes was matched with Taylor Architecture Group (TAG), a firm that is known for working with First Nation communities.

“It was so quick and it was so great,” she says. “I couldn’t have hoped for any better way to get the job… it’s great because the job relates to what I’m doing in school, and it stays fresh in my mind over the summer.”

This job experience proved to be valuable for her future. Being able to work for a firm provided her with on-the-job experience that you cannot get in the classroom.

“Now that I’ve picked it up in my first year, it’s obviously going to stick pretty well. I’m so happy to be fully immersed in it rather than sitting on the outside looking in.”

After she finishes her undergrad, she plans to go for her Masters Degree in Architecture.