Christopher Krug-Iron will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)

USask student and educator hopes to have a dramatic career

Exploring the importance of creativity and the role it can play in bringing meaning and value to students’ lives is a passion for Christopher Krug-Iron.

By John Shelling

Krug-Iron hopes to spend his future in the classroom as well as on the stage. Krug-Iron is pursuing a Bachelor of Education and Fine Arts with a concentration in acting. He will have performed in each of the Greystone Theatre productions this season ­— Arcadia and Shakespeare's Henry V this past fall and the upcoming productions of Cripple of Inishmaan and Machinal

Krug-Iron will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Krug-Iron a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.

Why did you choose drama and education as your fields of study?

I chose drama and education because I've had a lifelong passion for theatre. With any luck I'll be able to guide my students to finding a passion of their own, drama-related or otherwise.

Is the connection between drama and education something you are interested in exploring?

The connection between drama and education is definitely worth exploring, as creativity is something often overlooked in professional and industrial settings when students leave school. Without the arts, I seriously doubt life would be as meaningful or enjoyable to many people.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

My advice to first-year Indigenous students is simple: go to class, do your homework and don't be afraid to meet new people! There are tons of on-campus resources offered for free and many faculty and staff that are looking out for you; reach out to them and you'll have an easier go of it. You aren't alone.

What plans do you have for the future?
My plans have changed since I started. I originally only intended to be a drama teacher but as time went on I did well enough to be accepted into the acting program here in the university.  Now I hope to spend time on stage as well as in the classroom, possibly overseas as well.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

I have had more people inspire me to continue forging forward than I can count. My mother and father have been encouraging and helping me to feel proud of what I've accomplished, teachers and instructors in my life have shown me different opportunities that I've explored.  I can credit the hardworking staff in both ITEP and the drama department with both inspiring and challenging me to be my best.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

If my voice counts for anything it's to take action environmentally.  Awareness isn't enough, and poisoning our lands and waters in order to make money is ultimately futile.  We have one home and I'd love for our future generations to be able to enjoy a better world than what we have right now.