My name is Bridget Graham and I am originally from the village of Beachburg, Ontario. I grew up in a rural area, and agriculture shaped a lot of my childhood experiences. Although I did not grow up on a farm, I spent my childhood showing dairy cows and sheep, square dancing and learning how to plow with horses and tractors. As a child of French Canadian ancestry, I attended a French language elementary and high school. At the age of fourteen, I participated in a three month exchange to France, and discovered a love for travel. I graduated high school with a concentration in Environmental Studies having completed two co-op programs. Experiential learning has always been something I enjoy, and I knew that coming to Dalhousie would expose me to a multitude of opportunities.
I decided to attend Dalhousie because of the Sustainability program, as it was the only one of its kind when I was applying to universities. Initially, I had thought that I would pursue a Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in Environment, Sustainability and Society and Political Science, but after visiting the Arctic (Iceland, Greenland, Nunavik and Labrador) in the summer before my first year of university I decided that I would rather pursue a degree in Canadian Studies.
During my time at Dalhousie, I was fortunate enough to be able to complete a number of experiential learning opportunities. In the summer after my second year at Dalhousie, I spent a month living in a tent on the tundra in Baffin Island. I was one of the students participating in the University of Manitoba Pangnirtung Bush School Program. I lived in the Inuit community and learned from academics and Inuit elders about their traditions and way of life. We spent over a week living on the land with Inuit families, and our diet consisted mostly of fish, seal and whale. We had daily Inuktitut lessons and each completed a community program. In my third year I joined the Dalhousie Northern Ireland Dialogue for Peace Study trip, and spent ten days in Northern Ireland learning about the conflict between Protestants and Catholics referred to as the Troubles. In conjunction with this trip I completed a Directed Readings course under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Bleasdale about the idea of environmental, social and political sustainability in Northern Ireland. In the summer before my fourth year I completed an internship with Students on Ice, the organization that I travelled with when I initially visited the Arctic. I was part of the Home Team and helped to prepare the team for their upcoming expedition.
Each of these experiences helped to personalize my degree to my individual passions and interests. While I am now still currently a student at Dalhousie, I am in the process of completing my Master of Arts degree in Canadian History under the supervision of Dr. Jerry Bannister. I am writing my thesis about Silas Tertius Rand, a nineteenth century Baptist Missionary from Nova Scotia. I hope to pursue a career in the archival or educational fields once I complete my degree.