Métis youth benefits from MNO programming

Submitted by: Juliette S. Denis, PCMNO Councillor for Region 5

Jessica Boulard
Jessica Boulard during her graduation at Laurentian University in June 2013.

Jessica Boulard is yet another example of a young Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen who has benefited from MNO’s education and training programs.

A recipient of the MNO bursary and participant of the MNO Summer Career Program, Boulard is very grateful for the assistance the MNO has provided her which she believes allowed her to obtain and achieve her educational goals.

In June 2013, Boulard successfully obtained a masters degree in psychology, specifically in the experimental stream, at Laurentian University. Boulard’s master’s degree specializes in shared book reading and eye, movements, which relates to all adult reading activities to a child.

During her studies, Boulard completed her thesis which was recognized by the Canadian Psychology Association. Her thesis entitled: Si je pointe, est-ce que tu regardes?: Examen empirique quant à la lecture conjointe, which translates to: “If I point it out to you, do you look at it?” was awarded Certificate of Excellence 2013 from the association.

Through MNO’s Summer Career Program, Boulard obtained the position of Payroll Clerk with Ferus Industrial Contracting, where she still works today. Boulard has moved up the ranks and currently holds the position of Finance & Administrative Manager.

Continuing her work in the field of psychology, Boulard works part-time at Laurentian University as a Professional Researcher, in collaboration with Dr. Annie Roy-Charland and Dr. Nancy Young, on a research project aiming at developing a process and tool of health self-reporting for Aboriginal children. This measure will allow health care specialists to evaluate the health status of francophone Aboriginal children, generate data which will lead to health interventions, and help reduce the unjust disparities related to health care. Part of the project includes the translation and modification of a questionnaire aiming at evaluating the quality of life of Aboriginal children. Boulard is currently working with Métis children on the Métis-specific component of the research project.

Starting in January 2014, Boulard will begin teaching a course offered by the Psychology Department at Laurentian University entitled “Histoire de la psychologie” (History of psychology).

The MNO has not only helped financially through bursaries and summer career placement, but they also allowed Boulard to further her knowledge about the Métis culture and traditions. Boulard appreciates and recognizes the MNO for all their help and support throughout her university journey.