For someone that has been with The Winnipeg Boldness Project (Boldness) as long as she has, it’s way overdue that we highlight Lisa Wlasichuk, our Research Coordinator.
Not everyone can say they did a field placement for their masters in Finland, but Lisa can!
Let’s back up a little bit though.
Originally when Lisa was in university she was working toward a politics degree. She took a bit of time off between semesters and ended up registering late for an upcoming year, which meant there weren’t as many options left for classes. Trying to still plan ahead, Lisa decided to enroll in some degree-required courses and signed up for an Aboriginal Politics class.
“It kind of changed my whole world,” says Lisa. “I always think, after that course, the anchor of my life changed, it shifted.”
The class was eye opening for her as she admits, she didn’t know much about Indigenous history, culture, etc.
“The more I learned, anger and fury set in about how little I knew and then also what I was hearing,” says Lisa. “So much of what I thought I knew was based on a very different narrative or history than what I learned in those classes and from classmates.”
She switched to Indigenous studies the following academic year.
Lisa became aware of Boldness after Diane Roussin, Boldness’s Project Director, did a presentation about the new project, to the program she was in.
After graduating, Lisa wasn’t entirely sure where she wanted to work, but knew she was looking for something that connected her to the issues she cared about. A position opened up at Boldness and she has been with the team for almost six years now!
Ok, now back to the field placement in Finland!
While working on her masters, Lisa became really interested in Indigenous language revitalization. One of the academic books she used was about a group that was doing similar work in Finland. After some coordinating, things were all set and she was going to spend three months in the community/town of Inari, Finland.
Lisa immersed herself in the work they were doing and the culture and spent a lot of her time transcribing their work into english and among different platforms.
Through this, Lisa met a colleague whose father was a reindeer herder and she got to go out on the land where there were hundreds of reindeer! Pretty cool right? Yes! But that wasn’t the only cool thing she did while abroad. Lisa also got to experience the Midnight Sun, which is a natural phenomenon where the sun stays up for 24-hours! Could you imagine waking up around 3am to get a drink of water and the sun still being up!
Academics and work aside, Lisa adores her five-and-a-half-year old dog Hudson (or Huddy). She says he wasn’t always a sweetheart and although adopting the rescue has made her and her husband’s lives rather interesting, it also flipped their world upside down.
“We got him when he was 10-months old and used to call him the Bread Bandit because he would steal whole loaves of bread off the counter and eat it,” laughs Lisa. “We’ve also found him multiple times on all-fours on top of the kitchen table.”
Picture that, a medium to larger sized dog just hanging out on your table like that!
Having never previously been a dog owner, it was an adjustment, but Lisa says it was one of the best responsibilities she took on.
Lisa also loves cooking and says she is most known for making/bringing various dips to get-togethers with friends or family. Appetizers are her thing, but she has been slowly starting to expand on her baking skills.
Normally we would end off with a big “Welcome to the Team Lisa,” but since she has been with Boldness longer than most of us, we would like to just say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. It really is a true pleasure to work with you.
Thank you Lisa!