In 2020, NWAC received a generous donation from Marie Melancon-Ifram. In her selflessness, she specified NWAC as one of the beneficiaries of her estate, with the direction that the donation be used to provide bursaries. The bursaries named in her late son’s name, Michael Melancon-Koffend, will enable Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse post-secondary students to pursue their educational goals.


The Awards Program

The Michael Melancon-Koffend Awards are coordinated by NWAC’s Business, Employment and Social Development (BESD) Unit. Indigenous youth manage the selection process.

The annual Michael Melancon-Koffend Award will go to 13 young Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, or gender-diverse students from each province and territory. Each award winner will receive  $1,000 to pursue their post-secondary studies.


Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be currently pursuing post-secondary studies (open to all fields of study)
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be an Indigenous woman, Two-Spirited, or gender-diverse person (open to all ages)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to improving the situation of Indigenous women and youth in Canada politically, culturally, economically, or otherwise


2020 Scholarship Recipients

This year, the Michael Melancon-Koffend Student Award Selection Committee received and reviewed over 140 applications. NWAC is pleased to announce 11 awards to the following outstanding women:

  • Erica Abel, North West Territories
  • Everlyne Fowler, British Columbia
  • Tasia Nateweyes, Alberta
  • Santana Dreaver, Saskatchewan
  • Lindsay Bristow, Manitoba
  • Celine Wick, Ontario
  • Hope Metallic, Quebec
  • Samantha Gardiner, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Shyla Augustine, New Brunswick
  • Jerri Bluecloud, Nova Scotia
  • Ashley Jadis, Prince Edward Island
Erica
I am a proud Yellowknives Dene First Nation member, and I am the first in my family to pursue post-secondary education in the healthcare field. I am eager to work alongside professionals and to bridge the gap between western and traditional teachings. I have an intimate relationship with the Indigenous population who live with addictions. I can relate to what our people are going through as I am a descendant of a residential school survivor and was surrounded by substance abuse. I strive to be a role model for our youth, and I will continue to be an advocate for the people of the North.
Tansi, my name is Tasia Nateweyes and I am originally from Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan treaty territory 10. I take great pride in learning and teaching my son our Indigenous way of life. I am enrolled as a full time student in the University of Alberta Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies Program. I plan to take my education and personal healing journey to great lengths in helping the youth who struggle with intergenerational effects of trauma and residential schools. Every youth deserves a chance to rebuild, resiliency and resistance!
My name is Santana Dreaver. I am Saulteaux and Plains Cree from Kinistin and Mistawasis Nehiyawak on Treaty 4 and 6 Territories in Saskatchewan. Kinistin Saulteaux Nation is where I grew up before moving to Saskatoon in 2015 to pursue political science at the University of Saskatchewan. To date I have completed three years of my program, a minor in sociology and a certificate in Indigenous governance and politics. My fourth great-grandfather Chief Mistawasis’s leadership in Treaty 6 negotiations has motivated me to explore Indigenous governance and is my reason for studying political science.
Lindsay Bristow is an Anishinaabe woman and a member of Bloodvein First Nation. She is currently in her third year of medical school at the University of Manitoba, and previously graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 2018. She has been the recipient of over seventy scholarships, awards, and distinctions, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Lindsay aspires to work with Indigenous populations and is passionate about advancing the health of Indigenous communities.
Céline Wick is a Michif woman with family history all across the prairies. She is currently completing a master’s degree in Social Justice Studies with a specialization in women’s studies at Lakehead University. Her research focuses on the importance of kinship and community to our collective futurity within the Métis Nation. She is inspired by the strength of her Mémé Pussycat, held up by the love of her Mémé, encouraged by her Momma and driven to make a better future for her niece Parker.
Hope
Kwe! My name is Hope Metallic, I am from Listuguj first nation. I am at St. Thomas University, studying forensic anthropology with the hopes of applying to the RCMP within the next few years. I’d like to thank the NWAC for selecting me to be the recipient of the Michael Melancon-Koffend award. I am beyond grateful.
My name is Samantha Gardiner. I am a Bachelor of Social Work Student, mother, wife, and comprehensive community plan coordinator for my First Nation. After taking leave from my university career I went back to finish my Bachelor of Arts before applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program. I have always wanted to study social work; I am so thankful to have the opportunity to do so. While at the time I felt embarrassed heading into a first-year college class to get a credit towards my undergrad while carrying my infant with me, I am so glad I did.
Shyla
I am a graduate of St. Thomas University’s Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and Native Studies. I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Education Program in the elementary stream. I hope to take all the knowledge I have acquired over the years and that I continue to receive, back to my community to give future generations the education they deserve. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be selected for the Michael Melancon-Koffend Student Award as it will help me continue in my studies and make a difference in my community and for future students.
Jerri
I am currently in my second year of my BA, doing a combined major in family studies and sociology at the Mount Saint Vincent University. I have a passion for helping others and my goal is to work with Indigenous communities and to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I have a big heart with lots of life experience and hope to make a difference in my community and to help grow the generations to come. I look forward to the future and to continue to learn and grow during my studies.

Everlyne Fowler – British Columbia – No photo or bio available

Ashley Jadis – Prince Edward Island – No photo or bio available