From a Sociology Degree to the RCMP

Jordan Larochelle graduated from Bishops in 2014 armed with a B.A. in Sociology and a desire to make a difference. But he wasn’t sure how to go about it.

“I was like a lot of Sociology students in my year, I think,” Jordan says, chuckling. “I was wondering what I could do with my degree after graduation.”

The Townships felt like home and Jordan wasn’t eager to leave. Originally from Alberta, he had come here on the advice of his father, who grew up in the area. Jordan attended Champlain College, and continued his education at Bishop’s. Following graduation, Jordan worked at Bishop’s as a Recruitment Officer, often seeking out potential students in hitherto ignored communities. “I was given a lot of freedom. My idea was to recruit in Indigenous regions and schools and introduce Bishop’s to places a recruiter had never gone before.”

After two years, Jordan decided on a new path in life. He felt his degree could be put to good use in policing. “It wasn’t like I’d had a lifelong goal of being in the RCMP,” he says. “But it just felt right: their values aligned with my own.”

Jordan Larochelle ’14

Jordan finished his training in Regina and took a posting in Leduc, Alberta. He often thinks of his Bishop’s years. They were busy times, a whirlwind of studies, sports and community involvement. Jordan played football for the Gaiters during his first two years at Bishop’s, and then lacrosse in his final year, while managing to make a significant commitment to Bishop’s campus life.

“The University was such a great environment, but as a Metis, I found myself asking why there wasn’t more being done on campus for Indigenous students. So, we decided to create a club.”

Working with fellow students Nicole Maracle ’15 and Curran Jacobs ’15, the first order of business was to determine the number of Indigenous students at Bishop’s. “At that time there was no way to identify how many there were,” he says. “So, I asked the Business Office to send an email to anyone receiving band funding. There were seven or eight others, and that was how it all started.”

The group organized numerous activities on campus. There were movie nights, artwork groups and workshops, welcoming any students who were interested in Indigenous culture and events. It was a huge success. But as graduation approached, Jordan became concerned with the group’s future.

Turtle Island by Aaron Paquette

“I wanted to make sure there was something that would carry on, so I created the Turtle Island Internship with my annual donation in 2016. It’s the idea that somebody will be there to maintain those kinds of club activities.

Turtle Island is a strong touchstone for many Indigenous peoples. It comes from the creation story in which North America is carried upon the back of a turtle.

The latest Turtle Island Intern was Education student, Alicia Moore-Iseroff. She offered a variety of opportunities to allow members of the Bishop’s community to learn more about Indigenous cultures. Along with her Indigenous Cultural Alliance co-lead Sociology student, Shawna Chatterton-Jerome, Ashley planned activities like seasonal feasts and game nights to build peer support among the Indigenous students on campus.

“I’m really glad I can keep contributing to Bishop’s with the internship,” says Jordan. It ensures there’s someone on campus who can advocate for Indigenous student and share our culture.”

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