At Cape Breton University, each student’s academic journey is unique and tailored to who they are. Graduating this fall, Brady Doucette found academic success when he joined Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment (BASE) program. The program offered an interdisciplinary learning format where Brady was able to explore his various academic interests as an Indigenous student. “After seven years of being a student at CBU, I will be graduating this fall as the first Mi’kmaq student to complete the BASE program at CBU,” he says. “This is something both my current self and the unsure child I was when I arrived here all those years ago are so proud of.”
From Potltek, a Mi’kmaq Nation in Unama’ki, Brady had his doubts but was truly determined to complete a post-secondary undergraduate program. According to Brady, this is a great feat for him as he hails from a family that struggles with the intergenerational trauma of residential schools. “Finishing my undergraduate degree in an indigenized program a quarter century after their closures is a great achievement for me and is something that will inspire future generations of Mi’kmaq students to come,” says Brady.
Brady says he is glad he chose CBU where he can be close to home while taking part in a diverse campus. At CBU, he was able to meet people from around the world, gaining exposure to different cultures and traditions he will forever cherish. Having created so many memories on campus throughout the years, Brady says there are several spots that hold a special place in his heart.
“My favourite place on campus is the Donald Marshall Sr. Lounge in the Mi’kmaq Resource Centre because its unique oval shape brings me a sense of comfort I can concentrate well in,” says Brady. “Outdoors, I have a strong connection to the bridge located behind Residence, where I live and work as a Residence Assistant.”
The faculty at CBU has been a huge support system throughout Brady’s journey and he says Principles of Ecology and Plant Taxonomy taught by Dr. Ken Oakes and Dr. David McCorquodale stands out. “Dr. Oakes and Dr. McCorquodale have been some of the greatest knowledge holders and mentors for me alongside Jason Loxton, Chantelle Cormier, Kellie White and Andrew Reynolds,” he says. “They all absolutely love what they’re doing and learning from passionate people is what makes being a CBU student so great.”
As he prepares to cross the stage, Brady’s gratitude transcends his classrooms toward campus service, cafeteria and cleaning staff for their support throughout his time at CBU. In addition to earning his undergraduate degree, Brady lost 150lbs while utilizing the Fitness Center on campus. “Going from being over 375lbs to the weight I am now is something I never thought I would achieve in my lifetime because I was told it was genetic and that I would always be bigger,” says Brady. “But I debunked those claims.”
The support and success Brady has found at CBU have encouraged him to return to pursue a Masters of Education in Sustainability, Creativity, and Innovation. We know he will continue to reach every goal he sets his mind to!
Congratulations to Brady and the entire Fall 2022 graduating class.