June 22, 2021

The future is bright when we lift our people up – Grand Chief Daniels

June 17, 2021

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — As the school year comes to a close, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) and the Southern Chief’s Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) are offering congratulations to all recipients of this year’s SCO/SCEDC Indspire scholarships.

“I am so incredibly proud of all the recipients as they pursue their academic goals,” said SCO Grand Chief Daniels. “By giving the gift of education, we can all continue the vital work of empowering our people and righting the wrongs of colonization. I look forward to following these very deserving recipients as they chart their academic futures.”

The scholarships were established in partnership with Indspire and funded by the money raised at the SCO/SCEDC 2020 golf tournament, which came to over $70,000 in annual and endowed scholarships. In total, fourteen southern First Nation citizens received an SCO/SCEDC Indspire scholarship this year.

Among the recipients is Juscenta Haligowski from Ebb and Flow First Nation. Juscenta is pursuing a Degree in Communications at the University of Winnipeg.

“I originally planned to go into paid training for aviation, however COVID-19 put that on hold so I decided to start a degree at University of Winnipeg,” Ms. Haligowski said. ”My last minute decision to attend university also brought the unexpected costs of courses, and it placed financial strain on my family. This scholarship helped me in a time where things were uncertain, and I really appreciate that. Relieving financial burden allowed me to focus on my academic achievements.”

Also receiving a scholarship is Darlene Keeper from Little Grand Rapids First Nation. Darlene is enrolled in the General Studies Program at the University of Manitoba.

“This scholarship program provided me with a magnificent opportunity during the 2020-2021 academic year,” said Ms. Keeper. “When I applied for the scholarship I was nervous about my expenses for the school year. When I learned that I received this award, I was immensely happy. This funding alleviated my stress regarding financial expenses. I was calm and happy on learning this information. This feeling of calmness contributed to the success of my academic year because I was able to focus on my exams. I am proud to have these kind of sponsors contributing to my ambitions of pursuing further education.” 

“It gives me great pleasure to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these students as they wrap up their academic year,” said Mike DeGagné, President and CEO of Indspire. “Initiatives like the SCO/SCEDC Annual Golf Tournament allow us to keep supporting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students in new and meaningful ways – and to foster strong, mutually beneficial partnerships like the one Indspire has with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.”

The full list of scholarship recipients is as follows: Wes Bunn from Brokenhead Ojiway Nation; Taylor Catcheway from Pine Creek First Nation; Valerie Contois from Long Plain First Nation; Carmen Cook from Pinaymootang First Nation; Veronia Dueck from Roseau River First Nation; Tia Feroce and Juscenta Haligowski from Ebb and Flow First Nation; Darlene Keeper from Little Grand Rapids First Nation; Henry Mckay and Kateri Robertson from Berens River First Nation; Kristyn Ostrander from Sagkeeng First Nation; Renelle Phaneuf from Peguis First Nation; Sydney Puhach from Sandy Bay First Nation; and Vera Traverse from Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation.

“I have always been a strong proponent of education and see it as the pathway to meaningful and lasting positive change,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I look forward to helping even more of our people realize their educational dreams.”

Information on how to apply for the next round of SCO/SCEDC scholarships through Indspire can be found here. This year’s SCO/SCEDC golf tournament will take place on August 30 at Larters at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club.


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations and more than 80,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

For Media Inquiries:
Caitlin Reid, Manager of Communications, Southern Chiefs’ Organization
(204) 557-2399 | Email:

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