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ROTARY CLUB OF GUELPH INDIGENOUS AWARENESS COMMITTEE
 
Date:   24th April 2017
 
Indigenous Youth Award presented by the Rotary Club of Guelph
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph has great pleasure in announcing Analeigh Dokis as the winner of the 2017 Youth Award at the annual “Turtle Island Heritage Festival” in Wellington County. The Award Certificate was accompanied by a $500 cheque from Rotary to help Ana further her education.
 
   
 
 
L-R: Ana Dokis, award winner; Terrie Jarvis, chair of the Indigenous Awareness Committee at the Rotary Club of Guelph; Colinda Clyne, Curriculum Lead, First Nations, Métis, Inuit Education, Upper Grand District School Board
 
The Turtle Island Heritage Festival is an annual event hosted by the Wellington County Museum and Archives, in coordination with the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board, the Grand River Métis Council, and other representatives from the community.
 
The purpose of the Festival is to raise awareness about the history and culture of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples in Wellington County and its surrounding communities. Each April, the museum coordinates this wonderful celebration of FNMI art and culture, hosting both high school and elementary school groups to spend a day at the museum participating in interesting and informative workshops. This year, over 1,000 local students will attend this festival over a four-day period.
 
The organizing committee of the Turtle Island Heritage Festival is also tasked with selecting a student of FNMI ancestry to receive the Festival’s annual Youth Award for demonstrating leadership qualities in the community and in the promotion of FNMI culture. The award was presented at the Festival on 24th April 2017.
 
Ana Dokis, this year’s Award Winner, is a grade 12 student attending John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph. She is part of The Dokis First Nation, a community located on two large islands on the French River, south-west of Lake Nipissing. She has attended many powwows on Dokis Bay, learning to drum and dance, and experiencing some of the difficulties and joys in living on a reserve. Getting closer to her cultural roots made a big impact on her. Ana says, “I want to learn even more, I want to help others to learn about First Nations history and culture, and I very much want to help change the way First Nations peoples are viewed.”
 
Ana started an Indigenous Alliances Club at her high school, assuming a leadership role that helped to focus her goals and settle some academic struggles. With her huge smile she added, “And now I’ve been accepted to Wilfrid Laurier University for a double major in First Nations Studies and Child and Youth Care, starting next fall! I’m really excited about my next steps. I feel like I’m on the right path, and I’m thrilled to have been chosen for this Rotary award. I also want to thank the organizers of this Turtle Island Heritage Festival.  It’s such a great event each year.”
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph is proud to honour exceptional students such as Ana, and sincerely hopes she will one day become a Rotarian as she continues to serve her community.
 
 
   
 
Ana with her proud parents, Lee and Trisha Dokis
 
 
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ROTARY CLUB OF OAKVILLE TRAFALGAR
 
Date:   September 30 2016
 
Rotary Indigenous Scholarship Update
 
Dear Rotarians:
 
A little time has passed since the presentation by Pierre Zundel before the District Turnover last June. I hope everyone enjoyed the hot summer. We at RCOT have been busy selecting the candidate for the first Rotary Indigenous Scholarship. I thought you would be interested in an update.
 
The scholarship is $7000 a year for a full-time Indigenous student in years 2,3, or 4 of undergraduate study. The scholarship is renewable if the student continues full-time studies and is in good academic standing. The student should demonstrate financial need, good leadership initiative, and have a promising career goal. Mature students are to be given preference. In order to select the scholarship recipient, we developed a ranking system with 35% of the weight for financial need, 25% for First Nations Community involvement, 10% for a mature student. 20% for the student’s letter, and 10% for the recommendation letter from a professor, Band Council member, or employer.
 
We selected a mature student from the Anishinabek Kwe First Nation. She is starting her 3rd year in Indigenous Studies and a minor in Indigenous Healing and Wellness at the University of Sudbury. She is on the Dean’s Honour List and plans a graduate degree in Indigenous Health. She has volunteered with First Nations youth and for a Cultural Sensitivity Training Workshop. She had a summer job conducting research with the Poverty, Homelessness, and Migration in Northern Communities team. Upon graduation she plans to work with First Nations communities in the field of Indigenous Health. Here are her words from her application. “Although it has been a struggle financially to get myself to this point, I feel like I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a student at University of Sudbury, learning and experiencing more than I could have ever imagined. When I started this program I told myself that I would work extremely hard, that I would put myself out there, and find a positive way to give back to my community………”. We were so pleased to be able to support this candidate. Her picture is below taken at the award ceremony organized by the University of Sudbury. We were sorry that we couldn’t support the other 4 really strong applicants.
 
We are continuing to search for partner clubs for this Scholarship. We have a presentation that we could give to your club or committee. Any size donation would be appreciated. Cheques can be made out to RCOT Foundation, (put Rotary Indigenous Scholarship in the memo line), Box 52104, Oakville, ON. L6J 7N5.
 
Many thanks for your interest.
 
Cliff Thompson, cjthompso@hotmail.com
Bill Kerr,  wkerr@on.aibn.com
Rotary Oakville Trafalgar Indigenous Services Committee
 
 
ROTARY CLUB OF GUELPH ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
 
Date:   1st May 2016
 
Aboriginal Youth Award presented by Rotary Club of Guelph
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph has great pleasure in announcing Elise Perreault as the winner of the 2016 Youth Award at the annual “Turtle Island Heritage Festival” in Wellington County.  The Award Certificate was accompanied by a $500 cheque from Rotary to help Elise further her education.
 
 
Joanne McAuley, chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee at the Rotary Club of Guelph, congratulates 2016 Youth Award winner Elise Perreault
 
The Turtle Island Heritage Festival is an annual event hosted by the Wellington County Museum and Archives, in coordination with the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board, the Grand River Métis Council, and other representatives from the community. The purpose of the Festival is to celebrate the history and culture of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples in Wellington County and its surrounding communities. Each April, the museum coordinates this wonderful celebration of FNMI art and culture, hosting both high school and elementary school groups to spend a day at the museum participating in interesting and informative workshops.
 
The organizing committee of the Turtle Island Heritage Festival is also tasked with selecting a student of FNMI ancestry to receive the Festival’s annual Youth Award for demonstrating leadership qualities in the community and in the promotion of FNMI culture. The award was presented at the Festival on 26th April 2016.
 
Elise Perreault, this year’s Award Winner, is a grade 11 Odawa student attending Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus. The teacher who nominated her for this award wished he was not limited to 250 words to praise her as a young and vibrant leader and role model to others, whether they are Indigenous or not.
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph is proud to honour exceptional students such as Elise, and sincerely hopes she will one day become a Rotarian as she continues to serve her community!