The University of Saskatchewan is recognizing the work of Indigenous students.

The university’s Indigenous Students Achievement Awards were officially handed out in an online ceremony Thursday afternoon.

One of the people recognized was Jennifer Lenny, who is a two spirit Métis person from Prince Albert. Lenny is being recognized for community work, this includes working with Prince Albert Pride as the chair of their board and working casually with the Métis Addictions Council among many others.

Lenny explained being recognized for this work comes as a somewhat of a surprise.

“It’s from my heart and things that I love to do and enjoy doing and helping the people, so to be given an award and recognized for that its feels really unexpected,” said Lenny.

At the U of S Lenny is currently enrolled in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP).

Before returning to university Lenny worked at Saskatchewan Polytech in Prince Albert as the coordinator of the Indigenous Students centre and as well had done instructing which created an interest in pursuing an education degree. Lenny had other motivations for wanting to return to university later in life as well.

“My biggest regret was dropping out of university back in the early nineties, mid nineties and, it just kept coming up in my life thinking, I really want a degree,” said Lenny.

The second go around in university for Lenny is also different due to their connection with their Métis heritage. Lenny explained when first attending university they were not aware of their Métis heritage which is not the case right now and added they are looking forward to using this knowledge in the classroom after finishing up their education degree.

“Getting to know myself as a Métis person and you know having ceremony as part of my life, I am able to think about my work as a future educator/teacher and how to incorporated the little bit I do know, I am always learning, being able to incorporate what I have learned into my work as a future educator is really exciting,” said Lenny.

Lenny said they are not sure what specific field of education they would like to work in after finish up in the SUNTEP program. Adult education is something which Lenny has done in the past but added there are many potential opportunities.

“Maybe I’ll get that I want to work with younger grades too,” said Lenny.

(Jennifer Lenny, left, was recently recognized by the University of Saskatchewan: photo courtesy of University of Saskatchewan)