2018 Recipient Stories

2018 Recipient Stories

Below are some inspiring messages of gratitude sent by past recipients of New Relationship Trust Foundation Scholarships and Bursaries.

Download the 2017-18 Scholarship & Bursary Recipients Brochure

Layla (chuutsqa) Rorick – Hesquiaht First Nation

Education | University of Victoria
New Relationship Trust Foundation Doctorate Award Recipient

I have dedicated the last seven years to creating and maintaining free, community-based initiatives. I completed a three-year Mentor-Apprentice language immersion program, co- authored free dictionaries with Lawrence Paul and Angela Galligos and went on to start a grassroots Language Nest immersion program with Elders Julia Lucas and Maggie Ignace. Through these efforts, with the help of fluent speakers, I have progressed from being a non-speaker who grew up on Hesquiaht Indian Reserve, to being a high-intermediate speaker, teaching classes. My doctoral work aims to improve proficiency within my family/ community by engaging fluent speakers in language immersion planning and implementation.

“The loss of our language would mean the loss of an immense amount of ancient knowledge that we want in our lives as Nuu- chah-nulth people, and it is this thought that drives me. With your support through this program, I am able to continue volunteering to both facilitate free community language classes and do my doctoral language research with fluent elders. ʔuušč̓akšiƛʔicuuš.”

Marie Sandy – Williams Lake Indian Band

Education/DSTC First Nation Teacher Education | Thompson Rivers University
Indigenous Early Years Undergraduate Award Recipient

Weytkp, I am a member of the Secwepemc Nation, T’exelcemc in the Williams Lake area of BC. I decided to pursue secondary education because I am passionate about ensuring the Secwepemc language continues into the following generations. To follow through on my goal, I enrolled and was accepted in to the DSTC First Nations Language Teacher Certificate Program, and the Bachelor of Education program at Thompson Rivers University. My hopes and dreams, after completing my education, are to teach the Secwepemc language, with future aspirations to tackle a Masters of Education degree in Indigenous language revitalization at the University of Victoria.


Bernadine Brown – Okanagan Indian Band

Occupational Therapy | University of British Columbia
Indigenous Early Years Masters Award Recipient

Way’. My name is Bernadine Brown and I am from the Syilx Nation. In May 2017, I graduated with a Bachelors of Kinesiology from UBC and I started a Master of Occupational Therapy at UBC in August, 2017. I am passionate about learning, health, wellness and my culture. I am excited to become and practice as an occupational therapist. My overall goal is to use my knowledge and experience to enhance the health and wellness of First Nations people, particularly our children and Elders. Lim Limpt’.

“Thank you to New Relationship Trust Foundation for the Indigenous Early Years Masters Scholarship award. I am really looking forward to becoming an occupational therapist and I really appreciate the support!”

Morgan Pollard – Skidegate Band Council

Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship | Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
New Relationship Trust Foundation Bursary Award Recipient

My name is Morgan Pollard and I was born and raised in a small village on Haida Gwaii, which is a small North Western island on the North Coast of BC. I was raised the traditional Haida way with strong values towards our vast ecosystem and environment. I also have a great respect for culture and the traditional ways. I have grown up on the ocean, fishing and learning the ways of my culture’s harvesting and gathering. I recently graduated from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology with a first-year Electrical Apprenticeship certificate and will keep working towards a full certification.

Rochelle Francois – Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw

Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner | University of Northern British Columbia
First Nations Health Authority Bursary Award Recipient

My name is Rochelle Francois and I come from the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw. I was raised on the North Coast, moving to Vancouver in the early 2000’s and moved back to the north in 2011. In Vancouver, I worked in the construction business, then returned to school for Aboriginal leadership. I was employed as a community support worker in Kitimat, and I am currently the employment advisor for my village government. Through my employment, I am working to obtain my Essential Skills Practitioner certificate, for completion in 2018. I am also working to obtain my Occupational Health and Safety certificate.

Cooper Wilson – Old Massett Village Council

Physical Education and Coaching | Douglas College
First Nations Health Authority Undergraduate Award Recipient

For my personal goals I would like to finish my last semester and obtain my degree with a specialization in kinesiology. After I do this, I plan to work in the field for a couple of years to gain as much experience as possible. Then if my
love for it is still there I will continue my educational goal of pursuing a Master of Physical Therapy.

“I would like to thank both the donors who have been so generous throughout my years at school, as well as the New Relationship Trust Foundation.”

Brittany Bingham – Shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation

Health Sciences | Simon Fraser University
First Nations Health Authority Doctorate Award Recipient

I am a member of the Shíshálh Nation and a proud mom to two beautiful kids age seven and three. I am a PhD candidate in health sciences at Simon Fraser University. I completed both my BA in psychology and my master’s in public health at SFU. I have worked in health research in various capacities with Indigenous communities and government for over 10 years and am a passionate advocate for community-driven research, health equity, maternal health, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and reconciliation. Following graduation, I plan to continue working on reconciliation and research initiatives with the goal of supporting Indigenous community wellness.

Earl Parnell – Old Massett Village Council

Associate of Arts – Commerce & Business Studies | Langara College
Connor, Clark & Lunn Foundation Bursary Award Recipient

My name is Earl Parnell and I am a member of the Old Massett Band Council. I am currently finishing off the Associate of Arts degree – Commerce and Business Studies program at Langara College. It has been quite the journey and has had its ups and downs. I envision combining both soft and hard skills learned at school to help me pursue a new direction in economic development.

“I would like to thank NRT and Connor, Clark and Lunn Foundation for their continued support in helping me achieve my educational goals.”

Seraphine Munroe – Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation

Science – Forestry | University of British Columbia
Canfor Masters Award Recipient

Growing up Dakelh, it was evident that our culture is closely tied to the forest. However, at a young age I witnessed the sad reality that clearcut logging brought. Seeking advocacy to reduce this process, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, then continued my path as a professional archaeologist. As a further step to understanding the mechanisms that undermine Aboriginal decision-makers, I am currently working on my Master of Science in forestry. With this, I hope to gain a greater understanding in traditional governance structures and their effective use in forest management planning.

Laura Beaton  – St’át’imc Nation

Associate of Arts – Commerce | Langara College
Peace Hills Trust Bursary Award Recipient

My given name is Neekiki, and I’m a proud Ucwalmicw from the Lil’wat Nation. Currently, I am enrolled in commerce studies at Langara College. From here, I plan on continuing my studies at UBC Okanagan in their Bachelor of Management program. My goal is to become properly equipped to further enhance any financial/entrepreneurial understanding amongst Aboriginal people. I believe that Indigenous people are strong, intelligent and fully capable of running strong businesses to generate incomes that can further help our communities.

Kaija Goertzen – We Wai Kai Nation

Arts – Business | University of British Columbia
Scotiabank Undergraduate Award Recipient

While at UBC, I intend to study international relations and business. I am very interested in other cultures and languages. One of the things I am excited about in my program is being able to do a study abroad and learn a new language. I would love to work for the United Nations or the Foreign Service one day. As an Aboriginal person I think I could bring a unique perspective to this area and I can share my experience back home. I think the more people learn about each other the better the world can be.

Tracey Aljam – Coldwater Indian Band

Executive Assistant | Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Drillwell Enterprises Bursary Award Recipient

I am a second-year college student who is studying to become an executive assistant and I will be graduating with my diploma in May 2018 from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Recently, I was elected as councillor for my community. In this role, I wish to engage with thought leaders and I am ready for a challenge. Robin S. Sharma said: “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results; influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”

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