University of Saskatchewan student Kal Ledoux with his Kohkum Loretta Wilson (seated), a residential school survivor. (Photo: Submitted)

ITEP student strives to be outstanding teacher candidate

Kal Ledoux is a first-year Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) student from Muskeg Lake First Nation, dedicated to being the best student possible.

Ledoux actively participates in classes and learning communities, and motivates others to think beyond their own capacity. For his efforts, Ledoux received an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards, held virtually on Feb. 4, 2021 to honour USask Indigenous students in recognition of their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours, resiliency and community engagement.

The award ceremony was part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty at USask, within the context of this year’s theme: nīkānihk itohtētān, walking together into the future. IAW also offered a series of online events and workshops that everyone was welcome to participate in.

We asked Ledoux a few questions about his USask experience:

Why did you choose the College of Education and the ITEP program?

I chose to pursue education with the intention to become more than just a teacher. I want to be a friend and ally to both my students and colleagues. My choice was made after hearing that ITEP was more than just a program. ITEP is family and I wanted to be a part of that.

How have your studies developed your knowledge, skills and leadership?

Learning about the history of Canada and the consequences that followed have motivated me to strive towards stressing the critical stage of reconciliation. With this knowledge and understanding, I’ve been able to develop a voice and this will allow me to be a leader.

Has someone in your life inspired you to get to where you are today?

My Kohkum (grandmother) Loretta Wilson, who is a survivor of residential school. She inspires me every day with her strength, resilience and wisdom. (My girlfriend) Kelsey Reiber has been with me through some tough times and we’ve overcome many obstacles together as a team. Kelsey supports me relentlessly on this academic journey, and for that I am grateful. 

Why is leadership important to you? 

Leadership to me is setting the tone for a safe, fun and respectful environment that leads towards trust within a relationship and is ultimately why it is so important.

This year’s Indigenous Achievement Week theme is nīkānihk itohtētān, walking together into the future. What does this mean to you?

Building a safe Canadian society for all walks of life isn’t achievable alone and it will take walking together to make that change.

Tell us anything about yourself that you would like us to share.

Pursuing a university education as a mature student was a scary thought in the beginning. After my first term, I realize that it’s the best decision I’ve made in my short 24 years here on earth.

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