People of USask: Lori Delorme

Lori Delorme is an Indigenous Student Success Lead at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. She celebrated 25 years working for the University of Saskatchewan (USask) in 2022.

Lori Delorme is an Indigenous Student Success Lead at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. She celebrated 25 years working for the University of Saskatchewan (USask) in 2022.

Why did you decide to work at USask?

In 1997, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I started putting my resume out and my cousin was attending USask at the time. She knew I had a certificate and was looking for a job, so she recommended looking at the university. The administration was hiring for a maternity leave for the Aboriginal Students’ Centre. I submitted my resume, got an interview and was hired for the job and I’ve been here ever since.

In all my years working on campus, I’ve changed positions a few times, but have always worked in the Aboriginal Student Centre, now the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. As I am Indigenous, I have always been inclined to work with Indigenous students on campus. I wanted to share my experience and show them that campus is a beautiful place to be.

If you could go back and talk to yourself, first week on the job, what would you tell yourself about the career that you would have?

At that point, I didn’t know where life was going to take me. I was working the front desk at the centre and welcoming students. I was still in my 20s and was in my shell at that point. I didn’t know all of the things I would see, learn and grow at then. I would tell myself to hang in there, that it was an opportunity worth seeing through.

What is one of your favourite memories of your time on campus?

Probably, the opportunities I was able to have working with students and being a part of the programming and campus community. I loved when the students would take over and be a part of events and programs. It was great to be a part of it. I always wanted to be more than just a person working at the university, I wanted the students to see me as a person they could come to no matter what they needed to talk about or what the time was. A person who they could connect with and count on my support and commitment.

What would you say is the importance of having the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Center on campus?

Community and support is necessary for our students on campus as long as they have a place to go for that they’ll get through it and make their way throughout their years on campus. The centre is a safe, supportive, and holistic space for students and everyone else on campus. For us at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Centre, as a team we consider each other to be family. And for students to come into the centre and feel that kind of connection, it’s very important.

Can you tell us about the beginning of Aboriginal Awareness Week back in 1998, now Indigenous Achievement Week?

The week used to be later in March to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I played a very small role at that point as I was still new to the centre. The event was originally student led, as were most of the events at that time. With my role, I helped organize different high schools to come and participate and see what Aboriginal Achievement Week was about. They would be invited to see a dance performance and get the opportunity to learn about our Métis, First Nations, and Inuit culture. My role at that time was to show the prospective students that there is a space for them here on campus and to showcase our culture on campus.

What is the importance of Indigenous Achievement Week on campus?

Indigenous Achievement Week is an important piece to the university because it showcases our culture, our identity as Indigenous peoples, and highlights our students’ achievements and success. We get to show that we are proud of who we are and that we have culture on this campus. The student awards ceremony is an example of our achievements; we show the students that we recognize their achievements and honour them in a good way.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I think what inspires me is the students I get to meet and help throughout their academic journey. In my heart, their success is my success. Everything I do is not just for myself to know that I am doing something good, but to know that down the road, when the students are in their positions, and they think back to their time at USask and think about who helped them on their journey that my name will pop up. That in their lives, I wasn’t just another face on campus, but I was a person and friend who wanted to see them succeed.



It's the People of USask who enable us to be what the world needs.  

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