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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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From Ontario Tech to BMO

Vannessa Williams

Class of 2014
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Legal Studies
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Vannessa says her degree in Legal Studies from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology was the key to securing a job with BMO Financial Group following graduation.

She was drawn to Ontario Tech's Pathways Diploma-to-Degree program, which enabled her to transfer her paralegal diploma into a Legal Studies degree in only two years. Today, as Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Assistant Chief Auditor of Technology and Operations for BMO, Vanessa enjoys "being a part of the corporate world, the relationships I have built with my team members and meeting people who are engaged, intelligent and remarkable at their careers."

While currently content with her work, Vannessa has ambitious plans for the future. "Ontario Tech helped me develop a love of learning. I came to realize that I would truly enjoy a life of academics." She has received an acceptance to the University of Essex in the United Kingdom for the Master of Arts in the Conflict Resolution program, which she will be attending with her husband in the fall.

Meanwhile, she's strengthening her credentials with a view of her future application. She's also planning her wedding to her fiancé who is currently studying at Ontario Tech.

Vannessa's advice to other students planning their careers: "determine a path you want to take sooner rather than later. It's much easier to change your mind and figure out another path than to not have a path at all."