Why Volunteer in the Aboriginal Community?


Why Volunteer in the Aboriginal Community?

By: Alissa Derrick | 3rd year Criminology Student
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Major: Criminology; Minor still progress of debating Geneology or First Nation Studies

Community: Prince Rupert/ Smithers but belong to the Wet'suwet'en Community in Moircetown 

Year: I have been studying for 4 years, but entering third year and have two more.


First Finish BA, then complete my masters in either Law at UBC or Master's in Public Policy (MPP) graduate program at SFU.  I intend to finish my masters by 25?

I volunteer because I want to receive experience relating to areas of my current study in Criminology and my passion to help First Nations communities. Each of these organizations allow me to engage with Urban Aboriginal people, varying in age and genders. I hope this will allow me to build relationships among Urban Aboriginal and me, with a greater purpose of creating support and opportunities to enhance their personal and cultural goals. 

I would like to advocate for Aboriginal people, and build good working relationship with government bodies that would enable greater support for Aboriginal people in areas of family program services, Aboriginal youth resources, criminal justice services, and services specifically for Aboriginal mothers.


I am passionate about sports and the health benefits they provide. I currently play Badminton, Volleyball, and will soon be connecting with a Softball team. Most of my time commitment with sports has remained with Badminton. In the past, I have trained and competed in the Jr. National Canadian Championships for Badminton. This summer and following the next academic year I will continue to train for the upcoming 2013 Nationals while playing in-door volleyball.  


My involvement with volunteer initially started when I received the Indigenous Young Women; speaking our Truths, Building are Strength Community Action Award 2012. Since then, I have taken this year to step down from competitions. This decision allowed me to devote more time among local Aboriginal community organizations. The list below describes my involvement with organizations I have volunteered with for the duration of my first year at Simon Fraser University. 

Federation of BC Youth in Care Network (FBCYICN's) Local Development Program Action Team (2012 – Present):

A-Team is responsible for giving direction to the work of the Local Development Project.  A-Team engages in 1-4 hours of work a week and meetings every 2-4 weeks between June and May 2013. A-team acts as advisors and provides regular feedback to local development staff. A-Team acts as ambassadors of the Local development programs to locals, communities, partners, and the general public. 

Sage - Indigenous Graduate Student Support Coordinator (2012 – Present):

This position is both volunteering and a part-time job position I have at SFU. This work requires me to design posters, develop surveys, and complete required research projects. My volunteering is committed to attend and help with SAGE events. This is a program for supporting graduate students among SFU, UBC, and TRU. 

Annual BC Aboriginal Women in Leadership Forum — Dialogue on Economic Development (May- Current):  

WIL is a charitable organization that promotes the advancement of women’s leadership. This organization aims to showcase Canadian female role models in business sectors, and connect them to up-and-coming women in leadership. WIL encourages women’s development through leadership skills by implementing workshops and speaker series, and to deliver innovative programming to inspire women to take on leadership roles.

KAYA (knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association Board Member (2012- 2012):

Kaya is part of a Unified Aboriginal youth collective (UAYC), we work in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliations; current members in addition to KAYA belonging to the UAYC are BC association of Aboriginal Friendship Centers, Provincial Aboriginal Youth Council, BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Youth Council of BC, and Metis Youth British Columbia. 

Posted on June 10, 2012