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A Ponderance of 10 Years at GDI

By Daniel A. Downs

Apr 3, 2020

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While I still feel to be a relative newcomer to GDI – being a part of the family for 10 years now, I often take the time to look back at all that had been achieved by a remarkable organization over the last decade.


I started my career with GDI on November 1, 2009; having started as a Coordinator under the GDI T&E and DTI ASTSIF (Aboriginal Skills & Training Strategic Investment Fund) project. The day I started, I met up with the newly formed ASTSIF team, we were shown the 917 Building (917-22nd Street West, Saskatoon) where we met with what seemed like countless staff. We were then given a tour of the now-renovated 1003 Building and introduced to the staff who called the big grey building home It was all very daunting, but everyone we met was welcoming and excited about the project we were about to undertake.


What I didn’t realize starting out with GDI, is just how diverse and encompassing the programs and services were. I was introduced to my own small part in a much larger organization, and for the longest while did not have the opportunity to envision the much bigger picture. I am still in relative disbelief to this day, that one organization can actually be a one-stop-shop for Métis people in the province.


After a year in my role, just as I was beginning to fully understand policies, procedures, and terminology, I had the opportunity to attend GDI’s 30th Anniversary event and my world was expanded yet again. Never had I thought that there was so much depth and diversity at GDI as I experienced at the 30th. I was given the opportunity to experience not only those that impacted my work-world directly, but those in the broader community that impact the lives of Métis persons not only in the province but across the country.


Throughout the next ten years, I had the opportunity to develop and maintain relationships with those that impact the work I do, and even more importantly those stakeholders who were inducted in to the Order of Gabriel Dumont Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medal Awards during the February 6-8, 2020 GDI 40th Anniversary Conference and Celebration. I can look at the list of the inductees, and where once I would have recognized them only as names, I can now see them as students, coworkers, and colleagues.


I look forward to many more years of growth and prosperity at Gabriel Dumont Institute.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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