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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership: Vic Beaumont

November 23, 2020

Vic Beaumont, Bachelor of Education, Class of 2020.

Vic Beaumont was selected as the President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership winner for 2020.

As I sit and write this, I’m filled with gratitude. I couldn’t have won this award or seen a nomination without all of the people that stood with me. Thank you to all of my peers, my friends. You encouraged me and prompted me to take risks. You came alongside me and turned ideas and passions into reality. We grew together and laughed together. We joined an amazing community and enriched it for one another. Thank you to the staff and faculty of Education for welcoming us into your community and guiding us through a fiercely busy and deeply rewarding program. Your tireless efforts, week after week, set the example for sacrificial service and leadership. You spoke of exemplars, and you became one for every student in the program and me. Thank you to my friends and family for the many sacrifices you made to enable this journey. I poured myself into it, something that was only possible because of your incredible efforts and the space you gave me. I continue to grow, and I’m so happy that I can do it alongside all of you.

The Bachelors of Education program at Ontario Tech University thrives on engaging the teacher candidates, inviting us to step into unique roles. One of my favourite leadership experiences during that time was co-hosting the Environmental Education Conference. The day saw dozens of guests with an amazing breadth of activities and initiatives, all there to create a spark in the teacher candidates' hearts and minds. While I was able to welcome our guests, show hospitality, and smooth out the inevitable tangents that arise in any conference, I realized that embracing this leadership role enabled them to encourage my peers to do similar work. Equipped and encouraged, these teacher candidates will lead their own activities to instill leadership and passion in their future students. Every time we choose to serve and to lead, we enable and empower future leaders.

Where does a journey like this begin? It starts in reflection and pursuing what you’re passionate about. You have a heart for something amazing in this world, chase after it! The learning that you will experience from the very beginning is priceless. With a passion in mind, look for the opportunities. There are communities at work in the very thing that you care about. Find them, join them, seize each day and make a difference. As you serve and encourage, surround yourself with the people that will support you. They will serve and encourage you. Strive for the change that you know is needed and persevere. Tough days are ahead, but you will overcome it together. Thank you for this honour, and may you find joy in all that you do.