CIBC NIEEF and NIEEF Scholarship Recipients


CIBC NIEEF Scholarship for 2021/22


Chowace to become first family member to earn university degree

Janice ChowaceJanine Chowace is well on her way to a major accomplishment.

Chowace, a 31-year-old member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, is more than halfway done the requirements necessary to earn her university degree.

Chowace is in her third year of studies of the four-year business management program at the

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Chowace said. “I’ll be the first one in my family to get a university degree.”

What is also a big deal is the fact Chowace is one of eight recipients of this year’s Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Chowace had dropped out of high school while she was 16 and in Grade 10.

“That was a goal to go back and finish high school,” she said.

Read Janice's full story 


Duke has hopes of earning university degree after getting business administration diploma

Alexis DukeAlexis Duke is facing numerous challenges.

But Duke, a 26-year-old member of Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan, continues to move forward with her education.

Duke is in her second and final year of the business administration program at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, located in Regina.

Besides being in the home stretch of earning her diploma, Duke also received some welcome news recently. 

Read Alexis' full story 


MacDonald proving it’s never too late to further one’s education 

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Karen MacDonaldKaren MacDonald is fulfilling a long-standing desire.

The 56-year-old is in her second and final year of studies working towards her Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Calgary.

MacDonald believes it’s better late than never to return to school in order to further one’s education.

“I missed the opportunity to do it earlier in my career,” said MacDonald, a member of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan. “A lot of people encouraged me but I had this self-doubt.”

Karen MacDonald is a member of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan.

MacDonald, who is married and has two children of her own who are also attending the University of Calgary now, decided there was no point in waiting any longer and returned to school herself.

“The tuition is just sky high,” she said. “Every dollar helps.”

Read Karen's full story 


Indigenous student thrilled with scholarship but disappointed about online learning

Quintin HelmQuintin Helm is having some mixed reactions about his first year of university life.

The 18-year-old, who lives in the Alberta town of Okotoks, is studying finance at the University of Calgary.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helm, a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, is forced to take all of his classes virtually for now.

Quintin Helm is a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta.

“You hear about how different and fun university can be and I’m just not experiencing that with online classes,” he said.

Though he is not getting the full experience of university life by studying remotely, Helm does like his post-secondary program.

“I am enjoying the classes that I am taking and I somewhat take joy from getting one year closer to starting the rest of my life,” he said. 

Read Quintin's full story 


Scholarship enables Indigenous student to pay bills and save for her future

Kineisha Eagle BearPerfect timing.

That would undoubtedly be the best way Kineisha Eagle Bear would describe the recent news that she won a $10,000 scholarship.

Eagle Bear, a member of Kainai Nation in Alberta, is in her final year of finance studies at the University of Lethbridge.

But things were not looking too rosy this past fall for Eagle Bear, a 25-year-old single mother, who has a five-year-old daughter named Nova.

She already had some bills which needed some attention. And her expenses increased as it was necessary to get some vehicle repair work done since she was involved in a car accident this past November.

Kineisha Eagle Bear is a member of Kainai Nation in Alberta.

Plus, her computer which she required for her school work, seemed to be on its last legs and needed to be replaced soon.

Eagle Bear’s fortunes then improved considerably in late November when she heard she was a recipient of the Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Read Keneisha's full story 


Scholarship was perfect timing for Indigenous student

Remmy DillonFor Remmy Dillon the fact she won a scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time.

Dillon, 21, is a second-year student in the environmental resources program at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, located in Merritt, B.C.

Like the majority of other post-secondary students across the country, Dillon, a member of the Cayoose Creek First Nation in B.C., has been forced to take her classes online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dillon, however, was having her share of frustrations this past fall, primarily because she had an older computer.

Read Remmy's full story 


Former surveyor much happier with his return to school

Wyatt DraycottAlmost a year after taking the plunge and opting for a career change, Wyatt Draycott still finds his decision to be a nerve-wracking one.

Draycott, who lives in Cold Lake, Alta., had spent 20 years working as an industrial surveyor, including the last five years owning his own company.

But in February of 2020, Draycott, a 46-year-old member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, called it quits in order to go back to school.

He’s now a first-year student in the Natural Resources Technology Program at Portage College in Lac La Biche, located about a 90-minute drive from his home.

Though he was making a six-figure salary, Draycott was not happy with his previous career.

Read Wyatt's full story 


Scholarship allows Indigenous student to focus solely on his academics

Nikia Pratt

Nikia Pratt had to perform quite the juggling act when he returned to school.

After a 16-year career managing various McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets in Regina, Pratt decided to become a student once again.

The 34-year-old is now in his second and final year of business administration studies at the Regina campus of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

Pratt, a member of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, is also thrilled that he was a recent scholarship recipient, part of the Indigenous Scholarship Program, delivered by Inspire.

Read Nikia's full story

CIBC NIEEF SCholarship for 2019/20

Metis student/athlete receives lucrative university scholarship


Elise McCormack NIEEFElise McCormack still has some positive moments from her first year of university even though the ending was not ideal.

McCormack, who hails from Wyevale, a community in Tiny Township in central Ontario, attended Bishop’s University, located in Lennoxville, Que., during the 2019-20 academic year.

Elise McCormack is hoping to continue both her academic and hockey careers at Bishop's University this fall.

Besides taking Business Administration classes, the 18-year-old also suited up for the women’s varsity hockey squad, dubbed the Bishop’s Gaiters, in her freshman year. 

Read Elise's full story


Matheson hoping for a return to classes this fall

 Britney Matheson NIEEFLike countless others, Britney Matheson is hoping for a speedy return to normalcy.

Matheson, a member of Mathias Colomb First Nation in Manitoba, is enrolled in the Natural Resources Management and Technology program at the University College of the North.

Britney Matheson is hoping her hands-on course will continue to be offered during the pandemic.

Matheson is hoping she will be able to travel to her second-year classes this September at the school located in The Pas, Manitoba.

But because of the pandemic and COVID-19 concerns, many schools in North America had already announced in the spring that they would be offering online only courses this fall.

Read Britney's full story


Indigenous scholarship recipient returned to studies mere weeks after childbirth

Fredelle DeneyouaFredelle Deneyoua would have had a pretty good excuse had she decided to put her schooling on hold this past year.

Deneyoua, a member of Liidiii Kue First Nation in the Northwest Territories, gave birth to her second child, daughter Haley, this past August.

Fredelle Deneyoua returned to her studies mere weeks after giving birth this past August.

Less than a month later, however, Deneyoua was back in the classroom, for her second year of Business Administration studies at Aurora College, located in the Northwest Territories town of Fort Smith.

Read Fredelle's story


Scholarship winner hoping for eventual return to her First Nation

Loni VicaireLoni Vicaire yearns for a return to her home community.

But for now, Vicaire, a member of Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec, is not only honing her work skills but also continuing her education in Nova Scotia.

Loni Vicaire is juggling job and family commitments while also working towards a Master's degree from Cape Breton University.

Vicaire, 34, has been working as a policy analyst for the Nova Scotia government in its Office of Aboriginal Affairs for almost four years now. Her work focusses on Treaty Education.

Since last summer, however, Vicaire has also been working towards her Master’s of Business Administration degree, which has a focus on community economic development, through Cape Breton University.

Read Loni's story


Scholarship winner aiming for accounting career

Katelyn Saultier NIEEFKatelyn 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.

Read Katelyn's story


2020 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Tasha Brooks
Cowichan Tribes in British Columbia
Doctorate of Business Administration, Royal Roads University in Victoria
Read Tasha's story!

Michelle Francis Denny
Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia
Master's of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University.
Read Michelle's story!

Jana Sasakamoose
Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan
Business Administration, First Nations University of Canada
Read Jana's story!

Chase Soosay

Samson Cree Nation in Alberta
Commerce studies at Edmonton's MacEwan University.
Read Chase's story!


2019 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Kiera Kowalski
Métis, Manitoba
Masters in Indigenous Development program at the University of Winnipeg.
Read Kiera's story!

Patrick Twinn
Sawridge First Nation, Alberta
Master of Business Administration in Indigenous Business and Leadership, Simon Fraser University
Read Patrick's story!

Taylor Wilson
Fisher River Cree Nation, Manitoba
Master’s degree Development Practice program, University of Winnipeg.
Read Taylor's story!


2018 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Rosemarie Hill
Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, British Columbia
Business Administration, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Read Rosemarie's story!

Courtney Bear
Peguis First Nation, Manitoba
Master’s degree Development Practice program, University of Winnipeg
Read Courtney's story!

Taylor Wilson
Fisher River Cree Nation, Manitoba
Master’s degree Development Practice program, University of Winnipeg.
Read Taylor's story!

2017 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Kandice Charlie
Xaxl’ip community of the St’at’imc Nation
Executive MBA, Aboriginal Business & Leadership, Simon Fraser University
Read Kandice's story
Sheila Peter-Paul
Eel River Bar First Nation, New Brunswick
Business Administration - Accounting, New Brunswick Community College
Read Sheila's story
Quinn Meawasige
Serpent River First Nation, Ontario
Algoma University - Community Economic and Social Development
Read Quinn's story

2016 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Quinn Meawasige
Serpent River First Nation, Ontario
Algoma University - Community Economic and Social Development
Read Quinn's story
Natasha Brooks
Cowichan Tribes, British Columbia
Vancouver Island University - Masters of Business Administration /
Master of Science in International Management
Read Natasha's story
Kluane Adamek
Kluane First Nation, Yukon
Simon Fraser University - MBA, Aboriginal Business & Leadership
Read Kluane's story

2015 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Michelle Ann Big Swallow
Blood Reserve, AB
University of Lethbridge, Bachelor of Management
Natalie Shawana-Waboose
Wikwemikong, ON
Cape Breton University, Faculty of Business-Shannon School of Business
Masters in Business Administration
Jean Jasmine Recollet
Wikwemikong, ON
Algoma University, Community Economic Development

2014 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Rose Julian
Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton University, Masters of Business Administration, Faculty of Business

Ruby Littlechild
Ermineskin First Nation, Alberta
Cape Breton University, Masters of Business Administration, Faculty of Business

Laurie Mercer
Nisga’a Nation, British Columbia
University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Commerce

2013 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Crystal White, Enoch Cree Nation, AB
Business Management, Grant MacEwan University – Edmonton, AB

Vanessa Tait, O-pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation, MB
Masters in Development Practice – Indigenous Development, University of Winnipeg

Robyn Julia Mantla, Whati First Nation, NT
Bachelor of Management – First Nations Governance, University of Lethbridge

2012 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Angel Ward, Gesgapegiag First Nation & Metepenagiag First Nations, NB
Bachelor of Business Administration Program, Mikmaq Maliseet Institute, University of New Brunswick

Deborah Pine, Garden River First Nation, ON
Bachelor of Community Economic & Social Development Program, Algoma University

Randy Natomogan, Lac La Ronge First Nation, SK
Business Diploma: Economic Development Specialization, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

2011 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Sabrina Jordan, Batchewana First Nation, ON
Community Economic Social Development Program, Algoma University

Sydney Jordan Paul, Kingsclear First Nation, NB
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of New Brunswick

Crystal Smallface, Blood Tribe, AB
Finance / Human Resources & Labour Relations, University of Lethbridge

2010 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Leanne Joe, Douglas Lake, BC
Masters of Community Development Program, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria

Jennifer Perron, Whitefish River First Nation, ON
Bachelor of Business – Marketing & Human Resources, Algoma University

Shermayn Menicoche, Liidlii Kue First Nation, NT
Bachelor of Management, University of Lethbridge

2009 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Stephanie Behrens, Rae Edzo, NT
Bachelor in Environmental Science, University of Lethbridge

Shelby Lindley, Merritt, BC
Bachelor of Business Administration, Thompson Rivers University

Jessica Sanderson, Edmonton, AB
Bachelor of Applied Business Administration & Accounting, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

2008 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Paul Seaman, Regina, SK
Business Administration / Law, University of Victoria

Aaron Holway, Whitehorse, YT
Business Administration, University of Calgary

Merika Sam, Lytton, BC
Community Economic Development / Business Administration, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

2007 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Darlene Johnson, Samson Cree Nation of Hobbema, AB
Human Resources – Aboriginal Initiatives concentration, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan

2006 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Janetta Soup, Blood Tribe, AB
Bachelor of Management Degree, University of Lethbridge

Robert Daniels, Saskatoon, SK
Management Studies Program, Saskatchewan Indian Institution of Technologies