Being appointed as the new manager of Indigenous Student Services at the University of Lethbridge was a homecoming of sorts for Lindi Shade.
Originally from the Kainai First Nation, Shade completed her BA with a major in psychology at the U of L in 2006, but her roots at the institution run deeper than that.
Shade's mother also attended the university and Shade took piano lessons on campus.
"I was always part of the University community so, in that sense, it was like coming home for me,” she said.
"I’m comfortable here and I really enjoy the atmosphere and the environment of the university. I was very honoured when I was selected as the manager. To me, it felt like this is where I was supposed to be, working with students, engaging with them and ensuring they get through their programs successfully."
Now a mother of three, Shade has lived in Lethbridge for the last 20 years.
She has worked in the mental health field since graduating, first as a clinical therapist with youth, adolescents and families, then in 2017 she became director of the Kainai Wellness Centre.
She later returned to a clinical setting with the Piikani First Nation and worked with people who had experienced complex trauma.
As such, in her role as manager of Indigenous Student Services at Iikaisskini Gathering Place, her focus will be on the mental health of students and having elders available for students when needed, as well as having more programs, like workshops and info-sessions, at the Iikaisskini Centre.
“The underlying foundation of Iikaisskini is to be a home away from home and ensure Indigenous, Métis and Inuit student succeed," she said.
"The beautiful part of my job is that I get to be a part of that and have the opportunity to connect them to services and supports. I feel very fortunate to be in this capacity."
A welcoming luncheon will be held Thursday at the Iikaisskini Gathering Place.