Inspiring Success: NIEEF CIBC - Katelyn Saultier
Scholarship winner aiming for accounting career
By Sam Laskaris
Katelyn Saultier is determined to achieve her goal of becoming an accountant.
Even if it means she has to take a chunk of her courses online.
Saultier, a member of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation in Manitoba, is finishing off her two-year Business Administration program at the University College of the North.
Katelyn Saultier will be returning to the University College of the North this fall in her quest to earn a Business Administration degree.
The school is located in The Pas, Man., an eight-hour drive from Saultier’s community.
Saultier is finishing off her program now by taking a spring course, which ends in mid-June.
Earlier this year Saultier received some other good news as she chosen to be one of seven recipients of the new Indigenous Scholarship Program.
These scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, were available to post-secondary Indigenous students across Canada. Saultier’s scholarship was worth $5,000.
Scholarship funds were also available because of a new partnership between the CIBC and the National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation (NIEEF), the charitable organization of Cando, which promotes economic development in Indigenous communities through Canada
And the scholarships were delivered via Indspire, a national charitable organization which delivers programs and raises funds for Indigenous people living in Canada.
Saultier, 21, was obviously happy to be one of the scholarship winners.
“I was able to get some additional books that weren’t on my book list,” she said, adding she purchased about a half dozen books that were not mandatory but assisted in her studies. “And I was able to cover a little bit of my living expenses.”
Besides going towards her rent, Saultier said her scholarship funds helped pay off some of her credit card expenses she had incurred from Christmas shopping. Also, her phone and Internet costs increased in the new year.
Saultier is receiving some additional support in her studies.
“I do have some band support but it’s fairly little in amount,” she said. “And I was getting some family support but not too much.”
Saultier had a full course load (five courses) during the winter semester. But her in-class sessions ended abruptly in mid-March when schools across the country started closing their doors because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We were able to finish all of the courses online,” Saultier said. “It’s a lot more difficult in terms of learning. But I was able to keep up my high marks.”
Saultier is continuing to take her final program course online now. And she will be continuing her education online this September.
That’s because Saultier will be entering her school’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. With two more years of studies she will earn her university degree.
And she’s already thinking past that as well as she hopes to become a chartered professional accountant with three and a half more years of online learning after that.
Following the lead of many other Canadian post-secondary schools, the University College of the North announced in May its fall sessions would commence online due to the pandemic.
Saultier believes she will remain in The Pas to continue her studies. But she isn’t certain if she will return to her community before that.
Last summer she had worked as a junior accountant in The Pas. But she said jobs in the Manitoba town are scarce right now.
“I might look at going home and see if there’s any work there,” she said.