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Many of the graduates will return to their ‘s communities to help fill the need for social workers. (Ed Hunter/CBC ) It was a day these students worked three years to achieve.

Friday, 27 of 28 students who graduated with bachelor degrees in social work from St. Thomas University were from the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet program.

The need for social workers in communities is higher than elsewhere in the Maritimes, faculty members say.

But training for the job in First Nations communities, where most of the graduates will likely head, requires a program that understands traditions.

The Mi’kmaq and Maliseet bachelor of social work program, launched in 2005, is designed to help graduates work with traditional ways in Indigenous communities as they help families and children.

Deanna Price, a mother of four who was among those accepting degrees, said she experienced both success and sacrifice during her education. Graduate Deanne Price says she’s grateful for the support she received from other people as she pursued her degree in social work. (Ed Hunter/CBC) She said she was inspired to enter social work when she read a story about a soldier who committed .

She realized she wanted to help people who were struggling or who had lost hope.

Price, who expects to work initially with the Department of Social Development in Frederiction, said she felt grateful and proud when she saw her name on the graduation list."It’s very exciting … to see my name in here," she said. "It’s not only me, it is my friends that got me through it, it’s my family that got me through it, and just the we made it is very special."For Katie Joseph, who graduated from the program earlier, it was also an emotional day. She is on the committee that recommends ways to improve the program.During her […]

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