Last week we caught up with Christian Ahrenkiel ‘19 to see what life has been like since graduation. You’ll be inspired by his work with the Lillooet Tribal Council and COVID-19.
You graduated in December. What’s the first thing you did?
I took a month off and went home to Colorado! Upon my return to BC, I moved up to Lillooet. There I had a friend that encouraged me to apply for a position within the Lillooet Tribal Council, as a policy analyst for the St’at’imc Outreach Health Services branch.
What got you interested in St’at’imc Outreach Health Services?
I had always been interested in conservation, volunteer work and environmental policy. Fortunately, I had several close friends that were integral parts of the Lillooet community. They helped me get established and welcomed me to the area.
Your job sounds meaningful and inspiring. Tell us more!
I help construct internal policies and procedures to address St’at’imc Outreach Health Services. This includes on-boarding new employees and establishing policies to address First Nations Health Policy, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
There is a tangible sense of solidarity within the Lillooet Tribal community. Specifically, we have been extremely proactive in developing and adhering to stringent policies around COVID-19. We are a tight knit, supportive community who value the protection of elders and all members of society. Many were able to provide a historical context of how the community dealt with the outbreak of smallpox or other diseases to share lessons from the past.
How did Quest prepare you for what you’re doing?
Overall, I think the method of learning at Quest helped to instill in me the confidence to approach new challenges. I gained an appreciation for self-learning and regulation. The confidence to ask questions and approach new subjects through research has allowed me to expand the scope of my new role.