The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network (SIEDN) and Great Plains College were proud to award the fourth SREDA Indigenous Economic Development Scholarship (SIEDS) to Chelsie Dawn at a virtual presentation ceremony on January 22.
The SIEDS scholarship was created in 2018 to recognize leaders in the Indigenous community by offering a scholarship to an Indigenous student who is actively enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Community Economic Development. The program is offered by Cape Breton University and hosted at Great Plains College Warman Campus.
“As we celebrate the fourth year of SIEDS, SREDA remains committed to supporting Indigenous economic reconciliation,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “SREDA is proud to provide this scholarship to support the development of future Indigenous leaders in our province and to partner with Great Plains College and SIEDN in awarding it to Chelsie Dawn.”
This year’s recipient, Chelsie Dawn of Saskatoon, has always considered herself a life-long learner and values the importance of ongoing education as it creates new opportunities for her family and community. Chelsie’s previous post-secondary education has seen her achieve a Bachelor Degree in Aboriginal Public Administration (APA).
Throughout her years since attending university, Chelsie has dedicated her career to working in the not-for-profit sector and specifically for Indigenous organizations. She has utilized her experience and skillsets to assist not-for-profit organizations with housing initiatives and training/employment opportunities for Indigenous families and individuals.
Chelsie is an advocate for the importance of volunteerism and she has been involved in a number of initiatives that benefit the Indigenous community and society as a whole. Among others, these included the Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) support network, coordination assistance for the Awasis Education Conference, member of the Indigenous Cultural Competency Taskforce with Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership, the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and provision of consultative expertise for the economic development sector of Akisqnuk First Nation.
“I feel incredibly grateful to have been chosen as the recipient of the SREDA Indigenous Economic Scholarship,” stated Chelsie Dawn. “Receiving this support will assist me in continuing to pursue my educational goals. Thank you on behalf of myself and past scholarship recipients for this opportunity.”
“We are honoured to again present this scholarship to a very deserving candidate who is dedicated to Indigenous economic development, has a history of being active in the community and continues to extend her learning growth through higher educational opportunities,” said David Keast, president and CEO at Great Plains College. “Chelsie has had a great impact on the communities and organizations she has been involved with and we look forward to seeing that impact grow as she completes the MBA program.”
Students who qualify for this annual scholarship can receive $5,000 toward their education in the MBA in Community Economic Development program during their first or second year of study. When the scholarship partnership was created in 2018, a total of $20,000 was made available to provide the annual financial assistance during the four-year agreement. SREDA invested a total of $10,000 to be spread across four academic years and the Government of Saskatchewan matched this $10,000 investment through its Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program.
“On behalf of the board of directors I send congratulations to Chelsie for being selected as the recipient of this year’s scholarship,” stated Milton Tootoosis, Chair and Co-founder of SIEDN. “This education program is another step forward to helping build the skills, knowledge and competencies required to help rebuild the Indigenous community and to strive to achieve true economic reconciliation.”
The MBA in Community Economic Development is offered on alternate weekends over a two-year period at Great Plains College Warman Campus through Cape Breton University. This program allows students to earn an innovative MBA while working, with a focus on strategic leadership, First Nations economic development and public policy. The next available intake for the program is scheduled for January 2022.
More information on the SIEDS scholarship or Great Plains College’s Entrance Scholarship program can be found by visiting greatplainscollege.ca/scholarships.