Louis Riel Bursaries totaling $126,500 awarded to UWinnipeg students
January 12, 2015
WINNIPEG, MB –Taylor Daigneault grew up in a low-income household in Transcona and through hard work and perseverance, has earned more than $14,000 in scholarships to attend The University of Winnipeg and become a teacher.
Nineteen year-old Daigneault, who is in his second year of study, just received $2,500, one of 74 UWinnipeg students of Metis descent awarded a Louis Riel Bursary to support their studies this year.
“My mom cried when I opened this letter, because now it means my education is really paid for,” says Daigneault, who works in a daycare during the summer to supplement the family’s income. His career goal is to teach high school or in an adult learning centre and one day become a school counsellor.
Since 1999, the Manitoba Metis Federation and its education arm, the Louis Riel Institute, have been providing bursaries to Metis students attending UWinnipeg, which now amounts to $ 3.7 million as a result of matching gifts from the provincial government’s Manitoba Scholarships and Bursaries Initiative. The Louis Riel Bursaries offer financial assistance to Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors, and Masters degree students.
Laurel Appell also received a $2,500 Louis Riel Bursary this year which allows her to focus on graduating this June. Appell, who commutes from her hometown of Stonewall, says her Metis heritage has led her appreciate the beauty, history and spirituality of the culture. Appell also received UWinnipeg’s Mr. & Mrs. ONG Hoo Hong Memorial Bursary in Religious Studies, worth $1,475. She is completing degrees in history, religion and culture and hopes to then enter the Faculty of Education.
“My goal is to teach Indigenous youth in Northern Canada. My passion is Canadian history tied to Indigenous culture,” says Appell, who also works part time as a teller at RBC. “I tend to overload myself so receiving this scholarship means I don’t have to take on the stress of working more outside of school. “
“The generosity of the Louis Riel Bursaries program allows us to nurture Metis leadership in our community, and tap into a rich pool of talent,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “Removing financial barriers is critically important, and just as importantly, these awards build confidence and tell our students they are valued.”
“Our Metis government is pleased to invest in this ongoing and very important strategy in directing Metis students toward their eventual roles in society. Education is designed to guide our people in learning their culture and molding their behaviour in the ways of adulthood,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “Education is what removes doubts and fears; what makes them secure and successful as contributing citizens.”
In addition to the Louis Riel Bursaries, a $100,000 gift from the Manitoba Metis Federation in 2008 allowed UWinnipeg to create the Audreen Hourie Graduate Fellowship, which is open to all Metis graduate students in UWinnipeg’s Indigenous Governance and Masters in Development Practice programs.
Approximately 10% of UWinnipeg’s total student population is First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, making UWinnipeg among the leaders for universities in Canada for Indigenous participation.
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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: email@example.com