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U of L appoints new manager of Indigenous Student Services

Lindi Shade, who is from the Kainai First Nation, is the new manager of Indigenous Student Services at the University of Lethbridge.

Lindi Shade brings plenty of wellness experience to her new role as manager of the University of Lethbridge’s Indigenous Student Services and she’s eager to help students succeed and build cross-cultural connections.

Originally from the Kainai First Nation, Shade completed a bachelor of arts with a major in psychology at the U of L.

Shade continued her studies, finishing both a bachelor and master of social work at the University of Calgary’s Lethbridge campus.

Shade, the mother of three children, calls Lethbridge home and she’s lived in the city for more than 20 years.

Since completing her university education, Shade has primarily worked in mental health.

She worked as a clinical therapist with youth, adolescents and families and, in 2017, became director of the Kainai Wellness Centre.

Shade later returned to a clinical setting with the Piikani First Nation and worked with people who had experienced complex trauma.

Shade felt a pull toward working at the university. Her mother also attended the U of L and Shade recalled taking piano lessons on campus.

“I was always part of the university community so, in that sense, it was like coming home for me,” Shade said. “I’m comfortable here and I really enjoy the atmosphere and the environment of the university.”

“I was very honoured when I was selected as the manager. To me, it felt like this is where I was supposed to be, working with students, engaging with them and ensuring they get through their programs successfully.”

In her role as manager of Indigenous Student Services, Shade’s main focuses will be on the mental health of students and having elders available for students when needed, as well as having more programs, such as workshops and info-sessions, at the Iikaisskini Centre.

“The underlying foundation of Iikaisskini is to be a home away from home and ensure Indigenous, Metis and Inuit students succeed,” Shade said. “The beautiful part of my job is that I get to be a part of that and have the opportunity to connect them to services and supports. I feel very fortunate to be in this capacity.”

Shade also wants to develop a cross-cultural paradigm to build connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, both local and international, on campus.

“We want to start bridging those gaps; we want to start connecting so non-Indigenous folks are comfortable coming to the centre and learning more about the culture,” Shade said.

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