Dr. Jacob McKay Award Recipients – Congratulations to the 2015 Dr. Jacob McKay Award Winners
In memory of the late Dr. Jacob McKay, IAHLA established annual awards to support current and former students
of BC’s Indigenous adult and higher learning institutes. The four awards, in the amount of $1,000 each, are
available annually to Aboriginal students who have attended an IAHLA institute and will be continuing at the
IAHLA institute or attending a BC post-secondary institution in the fall.
Big Congratulations to the four successful candidates!
The 2015 Dr. Jacob McKay Award Winners
Emily Cook – Gitga’at First Nation, Cheyenne Cunningham – Katzie First Nation, Naomi G. Jules – Tl’azt’en Nation, and Pat Raphael – Syilx/Cree
Students honoured at the IAHLA AGM & Conference 2015
Lori is a member of the Penticton Indian Band which is part of the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in September 2014 with a Masters of Education in Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies.
Chastity is a member of the Cold Lake First Nations (Cree). She graduated from the University of British Columbia in November 2014 with a Masters of Education in Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies. (Photo – student in the middle)
Rosalie graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education.
Jennifer is a member of the Cherokee Nation, her ancestors were from Kentucky and Oklahoma. She was born and raised in Okanagan territory and lived in Asia before moving to Coast Salish territory in 2004. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a Masters of Education in Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies.
Georgina graduated from the University of British Columbia in May 2014 with a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies.
Beatrice graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education.
UBC’s Jeannette Armstrong appointed Canada Research Chair
Jeannette Armstrong, an assistant professor of Indigenous Studies in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has been appointed a Canada Research Chair. She will be Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Philosophy. With the prestigious appointment comes an annual award of $100,000 for five years to research, document, categorize and analyze Okanagan Syilx oral language literature.
For more information: Jeannette Armstrong appointed Canada Research Chair
Congratulations to the 2014 Dr. Jacob McKay Award Winners
In memory of the late Dr. Jacob McKay, IAHLA established their annual awards to support current and former students of BC’s Indigenous adult education and higher learning institutes. The four awards, in the amount of $1000 each, will be available annually to Aboriginal students who have attended an IAHLA institute and will be continuing at the IAHLA institute or attending a BC public post-secondary institution in the fall.
Big Congratulations to the four successful candidates!!
Catherine Adams, Nisga’a Nation
Catherine is a recent graduate of the Family and Community Counseling Diploma program at Native Education College. This fall, she will be entering the Bachelor of Social Work program at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. As a single mother of five, a grandmother, and the daughter of a residential school survivor, she draws on her experiences to promote positivity, create safe spaces, and encourage others to persevere on their healing journeys. After graduation, Catherine plans to move back to her home in Terrace and continue supporting others on the path to health and wellness. She is active in her community, where she has been a cultural dancer for over sixteen years.
Tiinesha will be studying archaeology at Simon Fraser University this fall. She previously attended En’owkin Centre, where she received her National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training Certificate. She is an award-winning Indigenous singer both in Canada and the United States, and was “Best Female Artist” at the Native American Music Awards in 2010. She is active within her community, committing time to events such as the Allison Family Easter Rodeo, Ashnola Pow-wow, fundraisers, and sporting events. She has worked on traditional plant identification and mapping projects, as well as archaeological field work on behalf of the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands. She sees archaeology as a way of protecting and preserving cultural artifacts and sites for the benefit of Aboriginal people and future generations.
Kylie Proznick, Dene Nation
Kylie is entering the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Thompson Rivers University. After completing the University Transfer Program at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, she graduated from TRU with a social work degree specializing in child protection. In addition to working at the hospital in Kamloops, Kylie continues to volunteer, all while raising a four-year-old son. Her career goal is to work in an intensive care unit. This highly-skilled position will give her the opportunity to work with a single patient, allowing her to get to know patients, their conditions, their
families, and other factors affecting the health on a more intimate level. She hopes to see many patients’ health improve over her career.
Jeane Riley, Fort Nelson First Nation
Jeane is entering the Master of Social Work program at the University of British Columbia in September. She previously attended Native Education College, where she received her certificate in Family and Community Counseling. She currently volunteers in the Elders Program at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, in addition to working at the Healing Spirit Lodge, where she is a facilitator and support worker in the Breaking Ground Employment Program. She hopes to continue studying mental health issues in society and work within Aboriginal communities in the Pacific Northwest. She is inspired by the mission statement of her community, Fort Nelson First Nation: “A nation – a people; strong, healthy, proud and self-reliant” and aspires to help others to find their inner resilience, ensuring healing and hope for communities through culture and connections.
Hilistis Pauline Waterfall – 2010 Recipient of Order of BC
Pauline (Hilistis) Waterfall, Bella Bella, an educator focusing on adult education and learning opportunities for First Nations was awarded the Order of BC, in a ceremony on October 21, 2010 at the Government House in Victoria. The order of British Columbia recognizes the excellence and achievements of our citizens. It is the highest honour that is bestowed on individuals in BC. Here are some of her personal comments on receiving the award.
“As a Heiltsuk woman, I have visioned for a long time how education is a tool for healing, empowerement and independence. As someone who attended residential schools as a young woman, I am aware of the inter-generational impacts that continue to define our First Nations worlds and experiences. I strove not to dwell on the past hardships of racism, displacement and dysfunctions. Instead, I was privileged to create a community college at Bella Bella, where we enroll adult learners -those who may have fallen through the academic gaps. I always believed that learning is more than academic – it must include personal, social and cultural learning that embraces life skills training and personal development.”
Pauline concludes her acceptance of the award with, “While I am humbled and honoured to be named to the Order of B.C., I chose to accept this on behalf of those whom I have served, and with those who have been my colleagues, mentors and teachers–including the old people who have now transformed into their spiritual lives. Our OO-ga-mi is a loving, compassionate and caring God who is expressed in all of nature’s beauty and work as we strive to find balance and harmony, embracing our human family in unity and grace, Hilisits, my ancestral name, comes from one of our genesis stories and it translates to starting out on a journey, and staying the course to come full circle and completion of one’s work and purpose. Gayaxsixa.”
Pauline has been an IAHLA Board member since it’s inception and has worked in may capacities for IAHLA and it’s member institutes.
Honouring Dr.Jacob McKay: Support, Wisdom and Guidance
A founding member of Indigenous Adult & Higher Learning Association, Dr. Jacob McKay brought support, wisdom and guidance to his roles at both the local and provincial level. Dr. McKay was Chair of Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute (WWNI). WWNI offers unique post-secondary opportunities where students can live and learn in the heart of an Aboriginal community. Chief McKay also represented the Nisga’a Nation on the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council, and on the Boards of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and IAHLA.
Dr. McKay made an invaluable contribution to First Nations education, particularly to the growth and recognition of Aboriginal controlled post-secondary institutes in BC. We will always be grateful for his dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of First Nations learners, and we are committed to continue with the work that he supported and promoted.
Richard Van Camp: Writer, Story Teller, Educator, En’owkin Centre Graduate
Writer and storyteller Richard Van Camp enrolled at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, BC to learn about Aboriginal customs and traditions throughout Canada. During his two-year experience at the Centre, Richard learned more than he ever thought possible. As an Aboriginal student he felt guided and welcomed, and he learned about writing, storytelling, education and life from his Aboriginal mentors. Upon completion of his program, Richard enrolled at the University of Victoria where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He then went on to the University of British Columbia where he “dominated” his course load as a Creative Writing Masters Degree student.
Since receiving his masters degree from UBC, Richard has become a teacher in the Creative Writing Department at the University, where he teaches Creative Writing with an Aboriginal focus. He is a proud member of the Northwest Territories’ Dogrib (Tlicho) people and the first Dogrib to be published. He is among the second generation of Aboriginal writers from the north working in English. Richard was the recipient of UBC’s 2007 Outstanding Young Alumnus award and he has written 14 books and reviews. He is also the CBC Radio’s Writer in Residence for the North by Northwest Program.