Keelin's journey towards confidence in her Indigeneity

Originally, Keelin wanted to study Nursing at Camosun but, requiring some upgrading courses, she explored other opportunities.

Keelin standing outdoors, in front of the Totem Pole in Interurban Campus

Keelin McNeil plans on going to UVic to get her degree in Indigenous Studies.

With guidance from Indigenous Advising counselors, she applied to the Indigenous Studies program. “It was the best thing I could do as a new student fresh out of high school,” says Keelin. “I made friends easily due to how close our cohort became and was shown the many different career paths that come from the program.” 

“I have had the opportunity to work alongside impeccable teachers, Elders, and knowledge keepers. It’s helped me to explore how I walk in this world as an Indigenous person.”

- Keelin McNeil

Keelin is Tahtlan/Tlingit (Telegraph Creek in Northern B.C.) on her grandmother’s side and Nisga’a, from the village of Laxgalts'ap on her grandfather’s side. Her mom’s side is from Belfast, Ireland.

“I have resided on Lekwungen territory for 19 years as an uninvited guest,” says Keelin. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow up learning the ways of the Coast Salish, which has helped me grow confident in my own Indigeneity.”

After Camosun, Keelin hopes to further her studies. She plans on continuing on to university to get her degree in Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria before transitioning back into her love for the sciences and bringing an Indigenous lens to the field.

“I am currently leaning in the direction of working with Indigenous youth through occupational therapy or speech pathology,” says Keelin. “My dream career would be to travel around and help in rural Indigenous communities, educating the youth on higher education opportunities while working alongside strong Indigenous leaders.”

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