My name is Katelyn Nash and I have been the Communications Assistant Summer Student for 8 weeks at JEDI. I am a 4th year Psychology / Native Studies student at St. Thomas University and my hope is to become an Addictions Counsellor for Indigenous peoples. I am also part of the Youth Council for St. Mary’s First Nation where we are striving to work with the youth of the community for a better and brighter future for them that is drug and crime free. I consider myself to be a hardworking and caring person to all individuals who come across my path.
My experience working at JEDI has enabled me to expand my communication skills as I am often quite shy. I have written most of the JEDI blog posts for the past 8 weeks and I’ve learned new writing and editing skills that will help me on my schooling journey. I have gained a new way to look at social media postings and what attracts the viewers, for example, what they want to see/read to grab their attention. I attended the Plenary on Marijuana and Hemp Opportunities held in Miramichi where I was able to meet new people and expand my networking skills. I really enjoyed being in an office setting like JEDI’s because everyone is very welcoming, approachable, and accepting.
In addition to all this, I have learned that JEDI provides multiple learning opportunities for entrepreneurs just starting out - like the Incubator Program, Digital Literacy classes, and the various one-day courses/modules and plenaries that JEDI hosts or co-hosts. When I first heard of JEDI and the summer student position, all I knew was that JEDI was an Indigenous organization that helped Indigenous entrepreneurs with furthering their business ideas. Since then, I surely have gained a lot of knowledge about what JEDI has to offer to Indigenous peoples and to the wider community. My father, for example, has been one of the many Indigenous individuals to get help from JEDI with expanding his business idea and as a result, he is becoming very successful in his welding business journey.
One thing that I had not been aware of prior to the beginning this work term with JEDI was the TRC Cultural Awareness Program. JEDI has created a module on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action to help bring education and awareness of this topic into the workplace. I like this program because I believe the history of Indigenous peoples and the history and legacy of the Residential Schools should never be forgotten.
My short experience with JEDI has been a memorable one. I will use what I have learned and share it with community members my age so that they can know about upcoming courses and plenaries that are taking place at JEDI. I was able to feel like part of the JEDI team and I really enjoyed the experience because everyone here is very friendly and full of jokes and laughter.