Indigenous Excellence

Mearle Chief

June 2012

Mearle Chief Photo

  • Home Community:
    I currently live in
    Winnipeg however I am
    a band member of Waywayseecappo, Manitoba.
  • Cultural Identity:
    I am Ojibwa
  • Current Position:
    I am a teacher at Kaakiyow li moond likol Adult Learning Centre which is
    a satellite program of Winnipeg Adult Education Centre [WSD].
  • Education/Training: Bachelor of Arts [1996]
    and Bachelor of Education [2005]
  • Roles/Responsibilty:
    I teach grade 10 to 12 ELA, grade 12 Native Studies and Aboriginal Studies, grade 11 and 12 Career Development, grade 10 Geography, grade 11 History, grade 9 Social Studies and grade 12 Family Studies. I am one-fourth of a team that makes Kaakiyow work on a day-to-day basis. My duties vary as we take on many administration duties as well. We receive a lot of support from the WAEC.
“Just stay true to yourself and be ready to work for what you know is right.”

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Some of the obstacles I faced were a lack of confidence and time constraints. I was uncomfortable attending classes where I always felt like a minority. I was so happy to find the Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Winnipeg to be such a strong community that supported students and made them feel welcome. The centre became a second home for me and I made lifelong friends there. Staff at the centre are supportive and helpful.

What or who inspired you to really go after the profession you are in now?
I credit my mother and father who gently encouraged me to pursue my interests, and instilled in me a strong work ethic. My mother always made sure I went to school and finished what I started. I credit a lot of what I have achieved to my parents because they became my foundation as I grew into the person I am today. 

What critical choices or decisions did you make that helped you get where you are today?
I gave up a career in social services to pursue this profession which was the best decision I ever made.
I go to work feeling I am in the right place doing the right job everyday. In fact it doesn’t feel like work at all. I enjoy my students and working with my colleagues because I learn something new everyday.  

Message of Encouragement:
Just stay true to yourself and be ready to work for what you know is right. There is light at the end of the tunnel but enjoy the journey as that is part of the fun. Most importantly, always thank the people who helped you get there, they need to hear that too.