Saint Mary’s University is pleased to announce that Raymond Sewell has joined the university as the institution’s first full-time Indigenous student advisor.
“At Saint Mary’s University, we are committed to improving the educational experience of all our students,” said Saint Mary’s president Robert Summerby-Murray. “In response to our own task force on Indigenous students and the federal report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, we recognize that universities have a significant role to play. We are acting to foster an environment that reflects the important cultures, histories and traditions of Indigenous students.”
The Indigenous student advisor is responsible for supporting and engaging Indigenous students at Saint Mary’s University. Sewell will develop programming and services for Indigenous students; make connections to facilitate the transition of Indigenous students to university; and develop culturally respectful programming to engage Indigenous students in campus life throughout their university career.
Sewell is a Saint Mary’s alumnus who completed his Master of Arts in Atlantic Canada Studies in 2014. From the Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick, Sewell has experienced firsthand the transition from a First Nation’s community to university in a new city.
“For many students coming from Indigenous communities, university can be a big transition. You are leaving behind your community and family and coming to a new city. It can be a bit of a culture shock,” said Sewell. “Part of my role will be helping students with that change, but also providing more general support to make sure that they have the tools they need to be successful at Saint Mary’s.”
Sewell will join Saint Mary’s in his new role today, Sept. 18.