Patricia Collins, SelfDesign Indigenous Education Facilitator, Learning Specialist and former learning consultant, didn’t start out with any thoughts of working in education.

Years ago, when a long-time family friend ­suggested to a very young Patricia that teaching might be the path she was meant to take, Patricia scoffed: “What do you mean I was born to be a teacher? Puh-lease!”

Instead, Patricia went on to choose a career in geosciences – a field that combines ecology and geology for the purpose of determining the status of landscapes before and after reclamation, assessing the potential of an area’s geology for mineral resource extraction, and undertaking related plant and animal surveys. For five years, she worked on projects around B.C.

Then it happened.

She was working near Nimpo Lake, in the Chilcotin (Tsilhqot’in) region of north-central B.C., when she witnessed a young person from the local Carrier First Nation risk their own life to save the life of another person.

“It was an act of such bravery, such complete selflessness and courage that, right then and there, I realized I wanted to work with young people,” Patricia says.

Read the rest of this profile that I wrote for

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