Identifying a Role Model


3 minutes - Article

Role Models are people who inspire you and exemplify a positive life path through the sharing of their reality and experiences

Role Models are people who inspire you and exemplify a positive life path through the sharing of their reality and experiences. You are the one that defines what a role model looks like to you-they reflect your goals and interests.

How is your identity currently informed? Reflecting on your roots is the most important thing. Someone from the same nation as you or even with a similar dress style creates an important commonality. The roots of Identity go beyond achievements and goals, they inspire connection and reassurance in the unique and beautiful person you are.

There are likely to be great Indigenous role models no matter your interests or location. So, if you think your role model would be an Oji-Cree culinary YouTuber from Pigeon Lake First Nation, fear not! Maybe that person isn’t out there for you to analyze but there is probably someone close.

Role Models can be a teacher at your school, that aunty or uncle who taught you skills, or someone at your band office who does an awesome job serving your community! Now we know where to look and who we are looking for.

Interests are a part of identity.

Do some reflecting, think about your interests. Do you like drumming, cooking, hunting? Pinning down interests will help you know where to look for a role model. If you like cooking, cook with friends at their house or join an online food community. You can look for a role model to interact with in person, in your community. Or you can look online, there's nothing wrong with learning from someone at a distance.

Identity is fluid…and goals shape it.

Establishing future goals helps too. For example, if you also want a university degree you should look for someone who's done well in education. Their actions can inspire the path you take to achieve your goals.

Imagining a role model based on your interest in cooking and the goal of education, they could be a Culinary YouTuber who’s a proud alumnus of their school.

Actions for finding a Role Model.

  • Think about your interests and write them down. Then attend an event, join an online group, or gather a few people in your community to practice those interests together.
  • Answer the question “What do I want to do in 5 years?” write down this answer(s), Look for a role model who has achieved these goals.
  • Answer the questions “How do I like to dress?”, “What Nation or Band am I from?”, “How do I feel different from others?” Write down these answers. Look for role models who reflect these answers.
  • Ask your role model questions, whether in person or online be nosy and reach out. Contact over social media is casual, but emailing with questions is also appropriate.