Dedicated to Serving Children and Families

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Deanna Price hopes to dedicate her career to serving children and families.

The mother of four boys discovered her passion for Aboriginal Child Welfare during the Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work (MMBSW) program at St. Thomas University.

“It’s protecting children, but also looking at where and how we can support the family,” Price said. “I think it’s an important opportunity because children are our future.”

A career in social work can be overwhelming, but Price said the MMBSW program emphasized the importance of having hope and not getting discouraged.

“The things we’re looking at can be hard, but what I’ve learned is to look at what I can do and what we can do together to support and serve,” she said.

Discovering a New Career Path

Price, of Fort St. John, B.C, moved to New Brunswick in 2009 after accepting a promotion in her career as a banker. Four years later, she suffered from burnout and was diagnosed with depression—an experience she said shifted her focus and gave her a desire to work with others who may be suffering.

“My values changed and I wasn’t the same person. I wanted to work with people and to be of service to those with mental health and addictions issues,” she said. “When I discovered the MMBSW program I knew I wanted to apply.”

“An Incredible Experience”

During her degree, Price earned experience through a field placement with Social Development where she worked with children and families, which reinforced her passion for Child Welfare.

She also learned a great deal about her culture and its traditions. 

“It was an incredible experience. I learned so much about my Indigenous ancestry that my grandmother couldn’t talk about.  I didn’t know about our traditions, culture, or what it really meant to be a Plains Cree woman,” she said.

“Because of my educational journey in the MMBSW program, the Elders, teachers and people I have met, I’m learning about Indigenous cultures, ceremonies, traditions, teachings, and ways of knowing. My mom and I have been kind of piecing together our past, so I’ve been able to teach and share that with her and my children.” 

This is just the beginning for many of the MMBSW graduates, but Price was quick to recognize how far they’ve come.

“The tenacity that all the graduates have to go through this program is incredible. We have families, jobs, and then meeting and completing our school work. It’s pretty impressive that we were able to come this far,” she said. 

“But, we have much farther to go.  Social work is about justice, serving our communities, learning approaches to offer support for people coping with intergenerational trauma, addictions, policy, and advocacy for others as well as Mother Earth.  This is only a stepping off place.”

Price will deliver the address to the graduates at her MMBSW convocation on July 7.

The MMBSW class of 2017 is the fourth cohort to complete the degree since the program’s inception in 2005. For more information, click here.