Indigenous Convocation Ceremony

"Being part of the Indigenous Convocation was a dream come true for me," said Amanda Sauvé, Medicine Class of 2018. Sauvé was joined by Madeline Arkle, Medicine Class of 2018, as two graduates at the annual Indigenous Graduation Ceremony hosted by Western University.

Arkle shares Sauvé’s feeling about the opportunity to participate in the ceremony.

“It was a wonderful experience and I was honoured to stand with so many amazing Indigenous students from Western,” she said. “You could really feel the love and joy in the room."

During the ceremony, Arkle, Sauvé and the others who graduated received a handmade stole with an Indigenous motif, which they will wear during Medicine Convocation in May to identify Indigenous ancestry and pride. It’s one of only three exceptions given by Western University to wear unique stoles at convocation, the other two are bequeathed upon military membership and peoples of faith of clergy.

A highlight for Arkle and Sauvé was the keynote speech during the ceremony delivered by Dr. Samantha Boshart a Schulich Medicine alumna. Dr. Boshart has served as a role model, mentor and friend to these young physicians, and has inspired both.

“Samantha is someone who is working in the area of medicine I aspire toward and thus her insight, guidance, and discussion on the importance on maintaining personal wellness throughout residency and in a career as a family physician was extremely valuable,” said Sauvé.

Dr. Boshart also took the time to share private words of encouragement to Arkle and Sauvé, reinforcing the important work they will be doing in their residency and beyond.

“Prior to her speech, she was chatting with Amanda and me about the unexpected challenges she faced when she got out into the real work, but that it should not deter us from doing the important work in Indigenous communities,” said Arkle.

The graduation ceremony comes at the end of an eight-year journey at Western for Arkle and Sauvé, and each one felt it was the perfect ending to nearly a decade of support they have received through the University’s Indigenous Services.

“The staff and students at Indigenous Services have been continuously supportive and encouraging of my goals, and helped me through the process of medical school application and training,” said Sauvé. “Getting the opportunity to celebrate my success and encourage other students to consider medicine as a career, made the ceremony very special for me.”

Reflecting on her experiences at Schulich Medicine, Arkle wanted to recognize the great work of Adrean Angles who serves as the School’s Indigenous Liaison and how he has helped to make the School more welcoming and comfortable for Indigenous students.

Arkle and Sauvé will proudly wear their handmade stoles over their convocation robes when they join their Schulich Medicine classmates on Friday, May 11 for the School’s graduation ceremonies.