Northern Studies Student in Lakehead University
Fri, Jun 15, 2012
Elisa Coates is of Caucasian descent and was born and raised in southern Ontario in Canada. The town she lives in ia a suburb of a larger city with 200,000 people, and there are many cities surrounding it that have many people as well with around 500,000 and 300,000. It is an area of many cultural diversities with people coming all over the world.
Elisa is studying Northern Studies, she tells: “I am in Northern Studies undergraduate program because I want to address the needs of the First Nations people and be an advocate in a professional sphere. There is a great need for First Nations cultural understanding in the academic professions that First Nations deal with, such as in law which is my aim.
I chose Lakehead University to study at because it is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is the hub of the northern region. People who live in the small towns up north and native people from the reserves up north all come to Thunder Bay for school and services which shapes our city. Although it is fairly big city with over 100,000 people, it still has the feel of a small town because most people have that background.
I study with different people in all my classes because my program is interdisciplinary. I get to meet social work students, philosophy students, biology students, and pre-law students among others. There are usually certain personalities that stand out in different disciplines so it's really neat to have the opportunity to interact with them all. Some people are proud of their northern heritage and others are just interested in getting to the big city down south because they want to broaden their horizons. I have a different position having lived in the big city already and then moving up north because that's what I wanted.
One of the main themes I have learned about in the UArctic courses though is the important relationship between the Arctic and the Subarctic and how they affect one another in many ways culturally, legally, and economically. So, the Arctic has gained an increased importance to me, knowing how the ecological future of the Arctic is tied to my region as well, and that the Arctic is so fragile environmentally and legally and subject to international interests.”