fbpx Gabriel Dumont Institue


Travis Black: For the Love of Teaching and Giving

By James Oloo

Mar 19, 2020

Posted in: ,

We all know that math and numeracy skills are important in our day-to-day life, as well as in our education and professional lives. Yet, the very thought of math brings fear and anxiety to some students. As many teachers are aware, mathematics learning difficulties are common in regular, special, and adult basic education classrooms.


Over the past several months, Travis Black, a fourth-year student in the honours program of mathematical physics at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), has been holding tutoring sessions every Wednesday at the Dumont Technical Institute Adult Basic Education program in Saskatoon. Travis is Métis and an active member of the Mathematics Student Society at the U of S.


Dumont Technical Institute has received several positive comments regarding Travis’s work. “We are enjoying his classes,” said one student. Another noted, “Travis is a great teacher who is easy to talk to and is interested in our success.” An Instructor stated, “Everyone walks out of the tutoring sessions with a big smile.”


Travis says he enjoys working with the students and making a positive difference. The 27 year old math and physics tutor likes the fact that students see him as a peer, and so are able to have more open conversations. He encourages the students to ask questions and to bring forward any math or physics challenges they may have. His Wednesday sessions have between six to ten students and cover assignment, preparation for tests, and any questions that the students may have.


Initially, Travis could come to Dumont Technical Institute at 4pm for the tutoring sessions. But that was tough for DTI students who wanted to attend the tutoring sessions but could not stay late. After consultations with students, instructors, and program coordinator, tutoring now takes place on Wednesday afternoons.


So why does Travis volunteers as a tutor? Because he enjoys it, and it is part of his community service, “to give back to the Métis community.” More than one Dumont Technical Institute student with a disability grant has previously offered to pay Travis for tutoring but he declined; saying that he gives his services for free.


Travis was one of the 18 students from the College of Arts and Science who were recognized at the February 6, 2020 Indigenous Student Achievement Awards ceremony at the U of S. The “awards honour Indigenous students who have excelled in their studies, undertaken unique or compelling research, made significant contributions to the community or demonstrated leadership.” Travis was the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. He maintains a 91% average at the U of S. Travis Black is the son of Marilyn Black, a program coordinator at Dumont Technical Institute, Saskatoon and a former classroom teacher and deputy principal.

Photo by Marilyn Black

Back to News

Gabriel Dumont Institue

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

Search GDI

Follow by Email