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No limits

Business alumna named Labrador Institute’s International Indigenous Intern

By Mandy Cook

Spoken like a true human resources professional, Stephanie Campbell is excited to learn some industry best practices when she travels to Norway and Finland this winter.

“I am very interested in learning about the Indigenous groups there and how they have broken down barriers for employment of Indigenous peoples,” said the newly named 2020 Labrador Institute International Indigenous Intern.

The NunatuKavut Community Council member, who hails from Charlottetown, Labrador, will work in the two Nordic countries for four months starting in January as part of the internship program sponsored by the Labrador Institute.

“Stephanie’s passion for her Labrador homeland and her dedication and drive to breaking down barriers for Indigenous people along with her commitment to volunteerism make her an excellent choice for this internship,” said Karen Pottle-Fewer, program co-ordinator, Labrador Institute. “We are very pleased to have Stephanie represent the Labrador Institute as she embarks on this journey.”

International experience

Ms. Campbell will first travel to Tromsø, Norway, with the Arctic Council Indigenous People’s Secretariat and then on to Rovaniemi, Finland, with the University of the Arctic (UArctic) located at the University of Lapland.

Upon her return to Happy Valley-Goose Bay where she now lives and works, Ms. Campbell will spend a month sharing her learned experience of Northern Europe’s Indigenous cultures in schools throughout Labrador.

Stephanie Campbell with a fine catch.
Photo: Submitted

Ms. Campbell says this aspect of the internship was one of the biggest selling points for her: sharing the message that no child or teenager in Labrador should feel like they are limited in what they can achieve because they are Indigenous or from a small community.

“As an Indigenous person, I know we often have to work harder than a lot of others because we have to travel so far from our homes, and often live outside of our cultures to access post-secondary learning opportunities,” she said. “But, it is possible with hard work and dedication to get the education, and job, you want.”

Passion for diversity and inclusion

A member of Memorial’s Bachelor of Commerce Class of ’13, Ms. Campbell says she is also keen to show youth in Labrador that sometimes it is important to be “uncomfortable” and do things that challenge you to grow and reach your maximum potential.

“Travelling to foreign countries alone and putting your life in Goose Bay on pause for five months is a great example of this!”

Ms. Campbell’s employer, Serco Canada, is “very supportive,” she says, and has granted her a leave of absence from her role. Serco provides services to 5 Wing Goose Bay and has interests in further expanding their business in the North. Serco has a robust Indigenous Benefits Plan and an opportunity like this aligns with the organization’s values.

Stephanie Campbell with a few furry friends.
Photo: Submitted

Her passion for diversity and inclusion was sparked by her work-term experiences with Cahill and Suncor Energy. One of her work-term projects was to compare the company’s diversity plan to that of other operators.

That’s not to say, though, that she isn’t interested in learning about other ways of having a positive impact on people’s lives.

Citing Norway and Finland’s healthy technology industry, Ms. Campbell says she is looking forward to seeing what innovations and green initiatives the countries are using in their workplaces to improve efficiency and profitability.

“I would like to switch from a Human Resources focus to a more operationally focused position. I am excited to see what we can bring to the table from an operational stand point.”

Ms. Campbell will be sharing her experiences through Instagram and encourages those interested in her journey to follow her Instagram handle @stephinthearctic.

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