Inaugural recipients of the IFS Scholastic Awards
The future of Indigenous nationhood is grounded in education. It is also the backbone of the Indigenous economy and pathway to opportunity. It is important for Indigenous students to be celebrated and encouraged to continue the efforts in higher education in order to realize their maximum potential.
The Indigenous Financial Solutions (IFS) Scholastic Awards were created to celebrate and support motivated and exceptional First Nations, Métis and Inuit students as they embark on new directions in post-secondary education.
“These exceptional students will be the future economic, social and community leaders and will one day guide their respective nations,” said Scott Patles-Richardson, Chairperson and President of Indigenous Financial Services. “We created the IFS Scholastic Award to support the academic goals of Indigenous students and lift them up towards a bright future. There will be considerable demand for bright, young Indigenous people to assume a career in each of the academic areas we have identified. I see the IFS Scholarship Awards as an investment in fulfilling their dreams and meeting our needs in the Indigenous economy of the future.”
The IFS Scholastic Awards provide an endowment to assist the recipients in their studies at a college, university, or vocational training or skilled trades training. The endowment provides a contribution that may be used for books, supplies, IT technology or cost-of-living supplement that supports their post-secondary education. The endowment may also be used to offset costs for student athletes including athletic wear and equipment.
For 2020, the IFS Scholarships are awarded in four categories:
- Sports and Academia – For an Indigenous student entering or continuing post-secondary studies and playing a varsity-level sport.
- Business and Communications – For an Indigenous student entering or continuing post-secondary studies in the field ofbusiness or communications.
- Law and Humanities – For an Indigenous student entering or continuing post-secondary studies in the field of law, humanities or social sciences.
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – For an Indigenous student entering or continuing post-secondary studies in the field of mathematics, science technology, engineering or mathematics.
The IFS Scholastic Awards will be given out annually through an application process that will begin in the spring. Students are asked to complete a simple application form and bio and to share their vision of education and how their academic goals will support their future and the future of their respective nations.
Sports and Academia
Averi Doxtator is a proud Anishinaabe, Oneida and Dakota woman and is entering her first year at the University of Toronto. She has been recruited to play varsity waterpolo as a goalie. She dreams of becoming a doctor and going to the Olympics.
Averi has balanced sport with culture by pursuing her passion for learning ceremonies and teachings.
Amidst the Covid-19 outbreak that postponed graduation celebrations, Averi led and co-hosted a virtual initiative to honour All Indigenous graduates of 2020 across turtle island. It was huge success and worth checking out www.indigenousgrad2020.ca
Averi is also active in her community as part of the A7G youth Group, participated in cultural exchange in Frog Lake Alberta with the Canadian Roots exchange and loves giving back and spending time coaching water polo for kids at her club.
Business and Communications
Fiona Fairbairn, Pabineau First Nation
Fiona Fairbairn is a proud, young Mi’gmaq and Vincentian woman and citizen of member of the Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick. She will be entering first year at Ryerson University for the Creative Industries program. Creative Industries is the first program of its kind in North America that blends artistic, media, communication, cultural and business studies to prepare future leaders for employment in today’s fast-moving, creative economy.
Fiona is already planning for the future and hopes to enter law school upon completion of her undergraduate degree. Her dream is to embark on a career in entertainment law.
Law and Humanities
Aluk Fontaine-Richardson, Sakgeeng First Nation
Aluk Fontaine-Richardson is a proud Miꞌgmaq, Ojbway, and Cree woman. Since her childhood, she has always felt a strong desire to correct injustices that she encountered. Much of this stems from her own experiences as an Indigenous woman. With the support of mentors, Aluk came to realize that education would not only provide a path to my own empowerment but would also help realize her yearning to see justice delivered. This has largely driven her academic success.
Aluk is attending her final year at the University of Winnipeg, in the traditional territory of the Sakgeeng Anishinabek. She has garnered numerous academic awards including the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Dean’s List in the Faculty of Political Science. Her goal is to attend law school and pursue a career in international law. This will provide her with a platform to enable substantive forms of justice for Indigenous peoples.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Alejandra Metallic-Janvier, Listuguj Mi’gmaq & Cold Lake First Nation
Alejandra Metallic-Janvier is a proud Mi’gmaq/Dene woman who is passionate about her cultures and contributing to her nations in new and pertinent ways. Her family is Mi’gmaq from Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation, and Dene from Cold Lake First Nation. She carries a strong middle-name, Gesigewei Gloqowej, that was given to her by her maternal grandmother, which means ‘Winter Star’ in the Mi’gmaq language. She also carries the spirit name ‘Buffalo Singer’ given to her in her paternal grandfather’s sweat lodge.
A resident of Ottawa, she has a deep connection to both of her home communities and visits frequently. Her experiences with her families and communities have shaped her values, principles, and teachings, and guide her decisions on this path of life.