NWAC announces the winners of the 2014 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award


Ottawa, ON (August 29th, 2014)—The Native Women’s Association of Canada is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award. This initiative assists Aboriginal women who are enrolled in post-secondary education, and was made available through the generous donations of Helen Bassett. As an active supporter of equal rights for Aboriginal peoples and in particular those of Aboriginal women, Ms. Bassett’s wish was for funds to be used for post-secondary student awards, and more specifically for women pursuing law careers.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada is committed to supporting young Aboriginal women in their pursuit of post-secondary education. This year the Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award Selection Committee received and reviewed over 50 applications from Aboriginal women across Canada. NWAC is pleased to announce four awards in the amount of $1,000.00 to the following outstanding young women:

Siera Bearchell (WEST)
Siera is a Métis law student embarking on the first year of her Juris Doctor Degree at University of Saskatchewan. Siera’s passion for making a difference has allowed her to overcome many obstacles on her journey to law school. After her studies she’s aiming to become a leader in Canadian law and is striving to have memorable and meaningful impact in the lives of Aboriginal women.

Brittnee Sheridan (EAST)
Brittnee is a young First Nations woman from Newfoundland who is in her fourth year of Law & Justice and Indigenous Studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Brittnee is extremely active in the community where she resides and she plans to use her education to fulfill her desire to work to improve the rights of all Aboriginal Women across Canada.

Alyssa Flaherty-Spence (NORTH)
Alyssa is an Inuk woman who successfully completed the 8 week Legal Studies Program for Native Students and is now enrolled in her second year of the Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa. She is committed to achieving equality and aspires to one day help Aboriginal Women by practicing law in an institution that recognizes the injustices when it comes to the legal representation of Aboriginal people.

Caitlin Tolley (SOUTH)
Caitlin is a young Anishinabe woman admitted in the Juris Doctor Program at the University of Ottawa. At age 21, she was the youngest person in her community to be elected on council and has worked to address women’s issues specifically related to health and social services. Caitlin intends to use her education to continue to advocate and seek justice for First Nations.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or [email protected]

14.08.29 Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award Winners