Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba
School: École McTavish High Public School (Former)
Future Goal: To be a massage therapist and chiropractor
“I would love to thank everybody who played a part into who I am and who was able to make me who I am.” — Salima Thibault
Written by YMM Parent
Salima is a well-known name across the Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) for championing her Indigenous culture.
In May 2018, Salima received the coveted Alberta School Board Association’s Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award. Each year, the award recognizes students across Alberta for modelling strength and commitment in the pursuit of their education path.
The same month, she became one of the first members of 18 Indigenous students to be a part of the launch of the FMPSD’s FNMI (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) Student Advisory Council.
The FNMI goal is to support the success and education of FNMI students, as well as hear their concerns and ideas of how to embed FNMI traditions, culture and history into daily practices in education.
“We would mostly try to bring in our culture from our heritage,” she said. “Whether in school, at home, or down the street, we want to bring it back into our blood and who we are.”
As a member of the Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club and Youth Aquatic Club, Salima is a multiple-medal winning competitive swimmer. She said competitive swimming taught her life lessons from an early age.
“I started swimming when I was in grade three or four, and my coach told me why don’t you try competitive. I joined the Youth Aquatic club and Fort McMurray Swim Club,” she said. “It taught me dedication and motivation. And how it actually helps with your life, and how you have to plan out what you do before you do it.”
In March 2019, Salima moved to Edmonton with her family and is currently attending École Maurice-Lavallée.