After working on some of the essential Indigenous laws as a legal paralegal, Anita Cardinal-Stewart graduated from law school and has a genuine desire to represent her people.
A caption that appears on the junior high yearbook photo reads, “Dreams of being a lawyer or an actress.”
This was when Anita Card-Stewart was full of optimism, and everything seemed feasible. But as she entered her teens, living in northern Alberta, in Woodland Cree First Nation north of Alberta, the hope waned.
“I started to see how hard it was for First Nations people, especially women,” she recalls, her memory making her cry. “Suddenly, the dream seemed unattainable.”
When she was 17, she was expecting her first child of three. She was finishing high school in the comfort of home via correspondence.
A grandmother of 46 years, Cardinal-Stewart, has finally arrived nearing the point of achieving the dream of a teenager at the very least, the half.
After working on some of the essential Indigenous legal cases in paralegal, including the Sixties Scoop and the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential School claim settlements — she’s finishing her studies at the Alberta’s University of Alberta with a law degree.
She was also this year’s winner of the first Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize, which is presented through the Royal Society of Canada to one law student who graduates from each law school in Canada.
“When I was younger, I was often ashamed of being Indigenous. It was hard growing up like that,” Cardinal-Stewart said. “Now I’m not embarrassed anymore since I’m aware of who I am.
“I’m not scared; I’m excited about the future. I’m confident in what I believe in and know I’ll do the best to serve my community.”
The path to that confidence has been long. After having their son, the mother took a course in business administration at the local community college. She then moved to MacEwan University for a diploma in management studies.
“My grandparents and my grandmother both attended residential schools. My father also advocated for education as he believed it was a way to get out of poverty. I had a wonderful loving family,” she says.
She was an education counsellor on her reserve and later an executive assistant to the council of band members. At the same time, she married her husband and had two children.
Once they reached the age of maturity reached the age of 18, she made the career shift just one more step toward her Yearbook aspirations. In her heart, she wanted to become a lawyer but was convinced it was not a realistic possibility: “I figured being a paralegal was the closest I could get.”
She went back to MacEwan for training in paralegals. She then landed a job in Cooper Regel in Sherwood Park. This law firm began to work on significant Indigenous cases, including that of the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential School Settlement in 2017.
“In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, I was sitting in the front row at Justin Trudeau’s apology to survivors of residential schools,” she states, adding she knew that Steven Cooper, a senior partner of her firm, was involved in the case for ten years.
“It was incredible. It was the moment I decided that I wanted to go back to school to pursue my Bachelor of Arts to go to law school. Even if I didn’t speak that out loud, I held the idea close to my chest.
“I never said it to anyone, not even to myself.”
She began to take classes at The U of A. However, it wasn’t until after she had the opportunity to meet Catherine Bell, a professor of the Faculty of Law, at an event for speakers in the university that she decided to take a risk.
“She told me, ‘Take it on. What are you waiting for?’ And that’s when I thought, “Really? You can do this today?’ I then thought, “Why not? So I enrolled in the LSAT.”
Law school began for her in the autumn of 2019, and it was soon apparent she was on the right track to fulfilling her dream. But the school was only half the story. The work she performed outside of the classroom was just at least.
The unmarked graves of 215 students from a residential school were discovered last May; the cardinal Stewart immediately called for a vigil in Kamloops’ provincial legislative chambers.
“Our hearts were broken in our communities, so I put out the word on social media and had about 600 people there within 48 hours,” she adds.
“It simply reenergized me and reminded me of why I went to law school in the first place. It wasn’t to advance my career but for my community. I realized that I must promote my cause in every manner I can and through whatever platform I can use.”
According to her supervisor, Steven Cooper of Cooper Regel, she’s the perfect person to achieve this.
“She’s got the life skills of a grandma, of somebody raised in a fairly traditional Indigenous language and cultural environment, so she is in the sweet spot to do the sort of work that’s important to her and the clients; she’s going to represent,” Cooper says. Cooper.
“A good paralegal leads, not follows,” the lawyer says. “Many people who graduate from law school cannot see the problem and break it into its smaller elements. Anita is a skilled problem solver who can come up with solutions that are often innovative and go above that which is apparent.”
A devoted marathon runner, She organized a fundraising race to support Orange Shirt Day last September. She raised 10,000 for the local charity Water Warriors YEG, Bear Clan Patrol, and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
In the meantime, she was helping Cooper Regel with a significant class-action suit after having learned in her first sociology lecture about sterilization forced on numerous Indigenous women in Alberta under the Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928.
When she learned that her mother was among the women — forced into sterilization after the birth of their second son, although she was hoping to have more kids — the Cardinal was angry.
Cooper has agreed to join the case and got her mom to serve as the representative for the plaintiff. Cooper is still waiting for information on the suit’s progress, which was filed in late 2018. The plaintiff is seeking damages of $500 million and an additional 50 million dollars in punitive damage for all Indigenous women who have been sterilized in Alberta without their consent.
“That’s a perfect example of where she can maintain a professional distance,” Cooper says. Cooper. “I think this is her mommy. It’s personal for her.”
If that wasn’t enough, Cardinal-Stewart has also been co-president for two terms of the National Indigenous Law Students Association and writes for the award-winning blog Reconciliation Action Youth for Global Growth.
The doting kokum she gives her grandson, who is three years old, Niko is also an avid activist for the rights and protections of Indigenous youth. She is also the programme director of Edmonton’s Level Justice Indigenous Youth Outreach program aiding in the empowerment of Indigenous youth with mentoring and education in justice.
“I remember what it was like to be young and not have opportunities, to not know what was possible,” she recalls.
“My junior-high years were filled with hope, but the hope waned. I’d like to see it disappear for (today’s young people) also so that they don’t have to wait until their 40s as I did.”
Steps of Effective Leadership Development Program Plans.
A well-thought-out leadership development program offers opportunities and clear guidance for your workers to enhance their abilities and grow their careers. With a wider skill set, they’ll have the tools they need to assist your business in moving forward. It’s a win-win scenario for both you along with your workers.
However, a development plan or program shouldn’t be designed in the nick of time. Follow these steps to ensure that your employees’ plans for professional development are on the right track. Follow this guide to know more.
Effective Career Development Plans
Step 1: Think about your goals for the business.
Before setting goals for your employee development program, ensure that you align your employee’s goals for their development with the requirements of your business. Take into consideration your long-term and short-term business objectives.
Do you need someone from your sales team to be a district manager? Do you require someone in accounting to know how to utilize and use new software?
You’ll be able to determine the needed abilities, know-how, skills, and knowledge to achieve your goals once you’ve identified them.
If, for instance, your business is growing rapidly, it may be necessary to hire more leaders. What qualifications do they require? Does any of your employees currently have the knowledge or the ability and the desire to develop the competencies needed for these roles?
The development of internal candidates to connect the current skills of employees and those of the future would be extremely beneficial for the business. Investments in employee development today will save costs and time in the long run regarding onboarding, recruiting, or training employees. In addition, creating an employee’s career path and showing the possibility of advancement and promotions can help you keep the best talent.
Step 2: Discuss the matter with your employees
Please don’t presume that you know your employees’ levels of expertise and career goals. Discuss with everyone on your team to know more about their professional goals.
Having your employees evaluate their work and discuss the challenges they face within their current roles is also advisable. Which areas are they experiencing the greatest difficulty in? Are they in need of some additional education, mentoring or an assignment that is challenging?
Certain employees have career goals, But they’re not sure what to do next or if the organization will be supportive of their plans. Others may not be aware that you can see their potential or need encouragement to grow in their career.
When you speak to employees, you can work together in determining what role your business could play in their goals and the opportunities you could offer them.
Step 3: Define the potential and the readiness
After you’ve provided leadership and management education, evaluate your employees, and bear in mind the difference between readiness and potential. For instance, Michael may have the potential to become a superstar manager, but he’s not yet ready to assume this job. The definition of readiness can vary, including desire, skill and experience. Michael might want to pursue the managerial job you have in mind for him but isn’t yet. He might be taking care of parents who are elderly or children and isn’t keen to travel.
Additionally, he may have the time and energy required for a new job. Or, he could need between two and three years in increasingly challenging assignments. Furthermore, this is the time to acquire the management skills needed in the new job.
Leaders often think of someone who excels at selling or manufacturing widgets (potential). They also assume they are great at managing the sales team or manufacturing widgets (readiness). Management and doing require different skills, and the employee is forced into employment. Furthermore to this, they aren’t prepared for the negative outcomes.
Do you want to quit your job in Dubai? These are the five steps to follow.
Gulf News speaks to UAE legal professionals about the steps employees should follow when quitting.
Dubai: You may be contemplating quitting your job as a full-time employee in the UAE. What happens if my manager refuses to accept or acknowledge my resignation. How can I ensure I have no problems moving to a different job?
Gulf News interviewed legal experts in UAE to determine the best steps for employees to take to avoid financial or legal liability when they quit their full-time jobs. The steps below are only for employees with full-time jobs. They are based on UAE’s new Labour Law, Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2022 – and its governing regulations.
1. To ensure you give the correct notice period, read your employment contract.
According to the UAE Labour Law, the notice period for a full-time employee who wants to end a work contract may be between 30 and 90 days. Your labor contract will specify the notice you must give to your employer. You can find our detailed guide on how to get a copy of your labor contract here.
Failure to fulfill your notice period could result in financial liability. You may be asked for your salary for the period you did not serve, according to Priyasha Corrie (Partner at Keystone Law Middle East LLP).
She stated that Article 43(3) of UAE Labour Law requires parties to compensate each other. This is a ‘payment in lieu notice’ equivalent to an employee’s salary for the whole notice period or a portion thereof.
You should keep some things in mind if you’re resigning within your probation period. Our detailed guide explains how to resign during probation.
2. Resign in writing
Corrie advised employees to notify their employer in writing of their decision to resign, via email or by letter. It is crucial to indicate your notice period and the last day of your work following your labor contract. This is required by Article 43 (1) of UAE Labour Law.
What happens if my employer doesn’t respond to my resignation email
According to Dr. Ibrahim Al Banna (CEO of Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants), while employees are required to submit their resignations in writing, acknowledgment from the employer is not required under the UAE Labour Law.
Dr. Al Banna stated that the employer does not have to acknowledge the notification.
3. Receive all your end-of-service dues
Your gratuity will be calculated according to Article 51 of UAE Labour Law once you have served your term as a full-time employee. You must note that gratuity will be calculated on an employee’s basic pay.
Dr. Al Banna stated that when calculating gratuity for a foreign employee, an employer must, according to Article 51 (5), calculate it based on the previous basic salary to which the employee was entitled, regardless of whether the employee receives a salary on either a weekly, monthly, or daily basis.
The gratuity paid to a foreign employee shall not exceed two years’ remuneration. The employer can deduct any amount due to him or her, following the law or a judgment rendered by a competent judge, when determining the gratuity amount.
4. Ensure that your work permit is cancelled
Concerning Executive Regulations of Labour Law, the employer must apply to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to cancel the work permit. Dr. Al Banna states that the employer must also apply for cancellation of visas with the General Direction of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA Dubai) or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship and Ports Security(ICP) if the employee was under the sponsorship.
“Once the visa and work permit is canceled, information indicating that they have been canceled will be entered into the MOHRE/GDRFA database. Dr. Al Banna stated that employers had restricted access to the database.
Although you are not allowed to access the databases of the authorities as an employee, your employer should send you cancellation papers detailing when your visa and work permit was canceled and the length of your stay in the UAE.
The visa and permit have been canceled. This gives the employee only 30 days to enter into a new employment relationship or exit the UAE. Dr. Al Banna stated they would be fined if the employee failed to establish a new employment relationship or exited the UAE without a valid visa.
5. For any questions, contact MOHRE
Lawyers also advised Gulf News to contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for any clarifications on the new Labour Law. For more information, contact the Ministry.
HOW TO SURVIVE A JOB INTERVIEW IN ENGLISH.
In English, we frequently talk about “surviving” an interview. Sometimes, simply surviving isn’t enough. You have to be able to show the interviewer what an excellent candidate you are should you want to be hired for your dream job. While specific interview questions are more challenging than others, you will still get an edge over your competition by knowing how to handle these simple English questions during the interview. Sit in a comfortable position and get yourself ready to tackle these English job interview-related questions.
Tell me more about your personal life.
It’s not a question but rather an invitation to provide more information. It’s still a popular method of opening an interview, however. Keep in mind that the interviewer is looking to learn about your skills related to your job rather than what you’re doing in your private life. Don’t mention, “I was born in Taipei,” “I like playing computer games,” and “I am the youngest of my two brothers.” Talk about your career progress, the lessons you’ve learned, and particular skills that allow you to be a suitable candidate for this position.
Don’t hesitate to sell yourself! The trick to answering this question is providing specific examples and supporting them with proof. Don’t just answer: “I’m organized, punctual, and well-liked with my colleagues.” You should follow up any information you state with “For instance” …” and elaborate on how you demonstrated your skills in your previous position.
What are your reasons for wanting to be a part of our team?
Employers would like to know why you’re interested in working for them. Therefore, show them that you know the company’s work and that you’re excited about your job. Don’t begin by saying, “Umm,” “I don’t know,” It seemed like a good choice for my career,” or “I haven’t found any other interesting information.” Go online and research the company before you interview to ensure that you can provide specific reasons as to why you’d like to join the company. Remember that the interviewer needs to understand what you could bring to the company rather than what the company could bring to you!
What made you quit your previous job?
Perhaps the last position you had was a disaster. However, an interview isn’t the right time to discuss the issue. If it’s true, do not make negative or opinionated remarks regarding your former or current colleagues or employers: “I didn’t agree with the direction of the company,” “I got no acknowledgment for my work,” “My boss was unjust.” Such statements can make you appear unprofessional. Instead, concentrate on positive reasons to leave, such as the desire to take on new challenges or expand your knowledge.
Have any questions you’d like to ask me?
Interviewers typically end their interview by asking this question. Make sure you ask specific questions that demonstrate that you know the basics about the company, but you’d like to know more. Be sure to ask questions you already know the answers to, such as, “What does your company does?” Or, “Could you give me your name repeatedly?” Also, don’t inquire about salary or vacation-related questions: “When do you give raises?” “How much vacation time should I anticipate?” Save those questions to ask after you’ve heard, “We’d like to give you the job.”
Remember that the most important thing to do for an interview is to be prepared. Research thoroughly and ensure you know the company’s mission and job before going into the interview. Be relaxed and remember that you were invited to the interview because the company is looking for your skills. Be sure to answer these questions and make use of them as a base to ensure you are successful at that subsequent English employment interview.
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