About this page – The purpose of this page is to acknowledge and recognize Indigenous people who tackled and succeeded in STEM disciplines and act as motivational and inspirational figures to students who wish to involve themselves in similar studies. If you would like to contribute to this collection, please send email your suggestions to editor-iyi1@wisenl.ca.

Indigenous Influencers

Lillian Eva Dyck – Cree, Neuroscientist, Senator

“We are all anxious to move forward on this issue and work towards eliminating discrimmination against women and their descendants in the Indian Act.”

– senator lillian eva dyck

Lilian Eva Quan was born August 24, 1945, and performed duties as a senator representing Saskatchewan in Canada. She is the very first female senator from the First Nations community, as well as the first senator of Chinese descent born in Canada. She is a first-generation Chinese Canadian who is a member of the Cree Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan.

For more information visit on Lillian:
From ‘Café Daughter’ to senator: The story of Lillian Eva Dyck takes the stage at the NAC“. Senate of Canada. June 16, 2017

Mary G. Ross – Cherokee, Engineer

“Perfection can be achieved by no one, because perfection is achieved from faults—yet faults tear away the perfection in you.”

– Mary G. Ross

Mary Golda Ross (August 9, 1908 – April 29, 2008) was the first Native American female engineer, as well as the first female engineer in Lockheed’s history. She was one of the 40 pioneering engineers of Lockheed Corporation’s famed and highly classified Skunk Works project.

For more information on Mary visit:
“Mary G. Ross’ 110th Birthday”. Google Doodle. August 9, 2018.
Mary G. Ross blazed a trail in the sky as a woman engineer in the space race, celebrated museum“. The National Museum of the American Indian. October 07, 2009.

Brian Pottle – Inuit, Engineer

“Science is a lens through which I can view the world with greater clarity.” – BRIAN POTTLE

Nunatsiavut-raised Brian Pottle, 29, is a Postville native who grew up in Ringolet as well. He graduated from Memorial University in St. John’s in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and has since made his home in the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information on Brian visit:
Engineering hope: Why this man is striving to be a role model for Indigenous kids“. CBC News. April 3, 2018.

Dr. Nadine Caron – General Endocrine Surgeon, Associate professor 

“Sometimes I’m so optimistic…And then on other days I experience things in the hallways or I hear things that are unintended to be heard and you just hang your head … And so I think in the end it’s just like anything else. We’re not there yet but we don’t even have the right to stop trying to get there.”

– Dr. Nadine Caron

Caron works at Prince George Regional Hospital as a general endocrine surgeon. She is an Associate Professor at the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, and in 2014, she was named Co-Director of UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Aboriginal Health. She is the first female Native Nations general surgeon in Canada, as well as the first female First Nations student to graduate from the University of British Columbia’s medical school.

For more information on Nadine visit:
“Nadine Caron”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. June 30, 2021.

Dr. James Makokis – Cree, Family Physician

“I went into medicine to help make a difference in the lives of people.  Our Elders teach us that to do so, we have to act from a place of love and I do my best to remember this in my practice. Let’s bring the humanity back to medicine.”

– dr. james makokis

Dr. James Makokis is a Family Physician who practises Family Medicine in Edmonton, Alberta. Dr. Makokis also has a Master’s degree in Health Science from the University of Toronto. From 2013 to 2015, he achieved a lifelong goal by practising in his native country. True healing, he thinks, will come only via the integration and absorption of Indigenous knowledge throughout all areas of programming in Indigenous Nations, as well as collaborative engagement with traditional medicine people.

For more information on James visit:
“Dr. James A. Makokis”. Dr. James A. Makokis. n.d.