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Raising voices

Aaron Prosper, newly-elected Dal Student Union president, is working to ensure Indigenous voices are heard.

Newly-elected Dal Student Union president Aaron Prosper wants to ensure that Indigenous voices are heard on the issues that affect them. “In my community, you are taught that you are Mi’kmaq first. When you leave the community, you have a responsibility to your people to ensure that they are represented and have a voice,” says the fourth-year Neuroscience student and member of Eskasoni First Nation. “Much of my work has been dedicated to figuring out how to best accomplish this.”

Prosper spends his spare time providing cultural and educational workshops to members of the Dalhousie and greater community. An active member of the Eastern Eagle Drumming group, he says the drum instills a sense of hope for him and his people that others are listening to the beliefs and needs of his community. “Drumming brings me a sense of peace as it represents the heartbeat of my nation,” says Aaron.

Through his upcoming role of DSU president, Prosper hopes to create a safe space on campus where all student voices can be heard and represented. Following graduation, Prosper plans to pursue a medical degree.

“Health-care services and employment opportunities are not easily accessible to members of my community,” he says. “Often times they are not overseen by members of Indigenous communities. I want to address these issues through developing direct partnerships between the government and Indigenous communities and build systems, policies and programs from the ground up.”