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Celina R. Dumas

April 2017

Celina R. Dumas photo

  • Home Community:
    South Indian Lake, MB
  • Cultural Identity:
    Ithinew - Cree
  • Current Position:
    Vice Principal, Wapanohk Community School, School District of Mystery Lake, Thompson, Manitoba
  • Education/Training:
    Business Administration (Keewatin Community College), BGS/B.Ed. Concurrent (Brandon University). Currently completing final course in Masters of Education in Education Administration. (Brandon University).
  • Roles/Responsibilties:
    My role is to support students, staff, and parents in working towards educational goals. This is achieved with open communication and working together within the school community.
“Have the courage to dream, be inspired to achieve your dreams, and love the path your dreams take you! ”

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
South Indian Lake is a small community where opportunities were limited. I was a young single mother and this made things more difficult but with the love and support from my late parents, things became a reality. I attended KCC and completed the College Preparation program and the two-year Business Administration program.

As a single mother, I decided early that I wanted more for myself and for my daughter. I realized education was the key to ensuring a better life. I wasn’t ready to leave my home community but Brandon University’s Program for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT) program allowed me to stay in my community and get my education degree. I am particularly grateful to the two educators who believed in me and encouraged me to apply.

What or who inspired you to really go after the profession you are in now?
My late mother, Margaret, encouraged me and always gave me that extra push to take on new challenges. I am thankful to have had a wonderful mother. I would not be where I am today if I did not have her support. Education is the key to succeeding in today’s society and I wanted to inspire the children in my home community. I wanted the children to see struggles can be overcome and one can accomplish their goals with personal effort.

What critical choices or decisions did you make that helped you get where you are today?
I took a leap of faith and decided to leave South Indian Lake because I wanted to experience new things. I wanted to find new innovative ideas to assist students in attaining an education. At first, I wanted to return home but soon realized I loved working in Thompson. Teaching in Thompson has given me the opportunity to work with diverse individuals who have contributed to who I am today. I take more time to listen to them and most importantly - I learn from them!

The administrator role came by surprise two and a half years ago. I was teaching grade five at Wapanohk Community School and was offered a term position. I accepted the position but when the term was ending, I struggled with the decision to stay as an administrator or return to the classroom. The encouragement from family, friends, and colleagues was wonderful and I decided to apply for the permanent position. I was awarded the job and I accepted it. Each day has new challenges but having such a wonderful staff make the challenges easier!

Message of Encouragement:
Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams! Have the courage to dream, be inspired to achieve your dreams, and love the path your dreams take you! Ekosi Ninaskomon.