Sixties Scoop survivor, 57, goes back to school to ‘help people help themselves’

Gordon Holub’s addictions started to surface when he was nine years old.

As a Sixties Scoop survivor, Holub was robbed of his culture and struggled with substance abuse. He only got a Grade 9 education.

After he beat his addictions, he worked hard-labour jobs. But in 2015, he knew it was time for a change.

“I needed a career change because I wasn’t able to do all those physical laborious jobs anymore,” Holub told CBC’s Radio Active.

Three years later, at 57, Holub will graduate from the community support worker program alongside about 100 other Indigenous students at NorQuest College’s Indigenous Achievement Ceremony.

“This is a big thing for me,” he said. “My mom’s coming up to see my graduation.”

Holub went to other universities downtown but did not get any support. When he walked into Norquest, he said he was with an Indigenous navigator within 20 minutes.

The navigators at NorQuest helped him figure out what he wanted to do and the kind of upgrading he needed to get there.

Through his journey at NorQuest, he was elected to student council and appointed to the board of governors.

He’s currently on practicum with the Inner City Pastoral Ministry and is working part-time at Ambrose Place as a caregiver.

“I just want to be able to go help people because I’ve been through the whole system,” he said.

Holub said the program has opened up “all kinds of doors” for him, being that the majority of caregivers in the system are women.

“It makes me more in demand,” he said.

As a caregiver, Holub said he’s “taught to help people help themselves” and listen to their stories. NorQuest was instrumental in doing that and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

“I’m doing something with my life now,” he said. “You are never too old to get an education.”

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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