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On Thursday, October 19th, at 10 a.m., a ceremony was held to recognize Indigenous students who were recently awarded substantial scholarships at the University of Sudbury.

A total sum of over $21,000.00 was recently awarded in scholarships. The recipients recognized this year were: Ruby Thompson, the very first recipient of the continuing $7,000 Dr. Constance Elaine Jayne Williams and Charles L. Williams Educational Trust Scholarship; and Gabrielle Pellerin, who received the $7,500 Maple Grove United Church Scholarship. In addition, Stepfanie Johnston, another involved student and last year’s recipient, again received the annual amount of $7,000 from the Rotary Aboriginal Scholarship Fund, as she continues to meet the requirements of this continuing scholarship and remains in good academic standing.

Ruby Thompson aspires to work with Aboriginal children, youth, and Elders. She hopes to help bridge the generation gap and encourage renewed relationships, and revive the traditional and cultural ways. In her opinion, today’s youth is our future and fostering solid relationships will encourage them to be as the Creator has intended. Once she completes her degree in Indigenous Studies at the University of Sudbury, Ruby plans to study Art Therapy at the Toronto Art Institute in order to be a Registered Art Therapist. Her experiences in community education, health and social services have guided her towards career plans that include operating her own practice on Manitoulin Island, assisting First Nations in healing through art therapy.

Gabrielle Pellerin is a heavily involved student. She has been President of the Indigenous Students Circle on campus since 2016, and since then, has contributed to the organization of a number of initiatives to advocate for Indigenous issues. She also enjoys helping youth reach their full potential by volunteering at the Shkagamik-Kwe Community Centre, where she mentors youth through the 10-week Choices Program designed to encourage life-skill development and personal growth. In addition, Gabrielle helped organize Take Back the Night, relating to the issues surrounding missing and murdered Indigenous women, and was selected to be the leader of the Indigenous Peoples National Party for the 2018 Model Parliament in January. She always looks forward to being a voice for her people.

The University is pleased to be able to offer such scholarships to assist these dedicated students in their studies and help foster their success as they continue their academic journey and career. We extend our most sincere congratulations to these recipients, who will surely use their knowledge and experience to make a difference.

About the Dr. Constance Elaine Jayne Williams and Charles L. Williams Educational Trust Scholarship
Established in 2017, this scholarship is awarded to an Indigenous student pursuing full-time studies in the Indigenous Studies program at the University of Sudbury, from any of the following Ojibway bands: M'Chigeeng First Nation, Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, Wikemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Sheguiandah First Nation, Sheshegwaning First Nation.

About the Maple Grove United Church Scholarship
The Maple Grove United Church Scholarship was established in 2014 to assist Indigenous students in meeting their financial needs during the course of their full-time studies within the Laurentian Federation.

About the Rotary Aboriginal Scholarship Fund
Established in 2016, the Rotary Indigenous Scholarship was established at the University of Sudbury due to the generous donation of the Rotary Club of Oakville Trafalgar. This scholarship is meant to assist Indigenous students in meeting their financial needs during the course of their full-time studies within the Laurentian Federation.

2017 10 19 Ruby Thompson 2017 10 19 Gabrielle Pellerin

President Sophie Bouffard and Ruby Thompson

President Sophie Bouffard and Gabrielle Pellerin

2017 10 19 Scholarship ceremony Ruby and Gabrielle w President 2017 10 19 Scholarship ceremony Indigenous Studies Group

From left: Ruby Thompson, President Bouffard, Gabrielle Pellerin

From left: Prof. Kevin FitzMaurice, Mary Recollet, Prof. Mary Ann 
Corbiere, Ruby Thompson, Gabrielle Pellerin, Dr. Mike Hankard 
(Chair of the Indigenous Studies Department)

Back: Prof. Brock Pitawanakwat