Kree Byrne receives his award from Angela Jaime, vice-provost Indigenous Engagement (left) and Lori Delorme, acting director of the USask Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. Photo: Nicole Denbow.
Kree Byrne receives his award from Angela Jaime, vice-provost Indigenous Engagement (left) and Lori Delorme, acting director of the USask Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. Photo: Nicole Denbow.

Veterinary student earns Indigenous Achievement Award for leadership

Kree Byrne, a second-year veterinary student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is a 2024 recipient of an Indigenous Student Achievement Award in leadership from the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Originally from Abbotsford B.C., Byrne previously worked as a teacher in his home province, where he enjoyed mentoring students and helping them learn new skills. Outside of the classroom, his lifelong passion for playing soccer led to his involvement as a referee and coach for the Abbotsford Soccer Association and the Abbotsford United Soccer Club.

Byrne decided on a career change after volunteering at a veterinary clinic in Abbotsford, which helped him further develop his interests in wildlife care, mixed animal practice and research.

Now in his second year of the WCVM’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program, Byrne is part of the executive for WCVM DIVERSE (Diversity and Inclusivity in the Veterinary Environment: Respect, Solidarity, Empowerment), a student club that’s focused on creating an inclusive learning environment for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

He’s also a student representative on the WCVM’s Committee on Indigenous Engagement. Its members support cultural diversity and inclusion throughout the college, specifically focusing on Indigenous communities.

Byrne is appreciative of the student support he’s received from Indigenous organizations such as Indspire and the Métis Association of British Columbia in helping him achieve his veterinary goals. While he’s still considering options for his future in veterinary medicine, he can see himself working in a mixed animal practice in rural B.C.

Byrne received his leadership award at the annual USask lndigenous Student Achievement Awards ceremony on March 6. A total of 42 Indigenous students at the university received awards recognizing academic achievements, community engagement, leadership and resiliency.

The awards are a part of the university’s annual Indigenous Achievement Week that celebrates the successes of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Click here to read a WCVM Today profile of Kree Byrne.