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Checking in with RAYS bursary winner: Mackenna Halliday

Published in The Creemore Echo December 18, 2020

Makenna Halliday’s first awareness of Indigenous people was in elementary school when a guest speaker came to talk to her class about indigenous customs and way of life. Several years later, for a Grade 9 geography assignment, she wrote about residential schools. This made her even more aware of the needs of children in protective services. The die was cast. Graduating from Stayner Collegiate Institute, Halliday enrolled in Canadore College’s Indigenous Studies program.

On completing this two-year course, she plans to apply to the bridge program at Laurentian University earning, in two additional years, a Bachelor of Social Work. She hopes to work in child protective services with a goal to improve the lives of indigenous youth. She reports that she is really liking the program and that the professors are both helpful and understanding of the difficulties imposed by COVID.

More challenging is the social aspect of living in a single room, cooking and eating alone every day. It’s a challenge she hopes to overcome soon – making a move from residence to renting an apartment in a student housing complex where she will be with other students and have a better opportunity to make friends. Halliday will be a natural in working with youth as the favourite of various part-time high school jobs was caring for young children at Devil’s Glen Ski Resort.