Local Students recognized with Osum Spark Awards

Three Lakeland students have been awarded the Osum Spark Award, recognizing their academic commitments in pursuing post-secondary education. Each recipient was award $5,000 to further achieve their post-secondary goals.

“Sometimes all it takes is a small spark to start something big. It’s our hope that this year’s recipients and future Spark Award winners will recognize the incredible potential they have to make a difference in their communities and the world,” stated Osum Corp in a press release outlining the awards.

2017 Recipients

Ashley Guild, Bigstone Cree Nation

Ashley is currently taking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her degree, she intends to pursue a Doctor of Medicine. Ashley has spent her whole life giving back to her community – and her educational goals are no exception. She is motivated by the disparity of healthcare in her community, an issue that she is actively working to remedy. Before studying nursing, Ashley attended U of A and received her Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification. She brought what she learned back to her community, teaching a variety of fitness classes and also organizing community-building events. Ashley has travelled abroad volunteering with girls in Cartagena, Columbia, who were victims of abuse. She was also a Miss World Canada contestant, an opportunity which she greatly appreciated because of the organization’s strong focus on humanitarian issues.

Brooke Metchewais, Cold Lake First Nations

Brooke is a major sports buff. If it involves a team and a goal — she’s in. She spent her high school years playing hockey, volleyball, rugby, soccer, basketball, badminton, and that’s just the shortlist. It’s no wonder she’s chosen to pursue her passion with a degree in Sport Leadership at Camosun College. Brooke believes in the power of physical activity, healthy living and the difference it can make in someone’s life. After pursuing a graduate degree, she hopes to take her education and use it to help guide and enrich the lives of youth in her community. In addition to pursuing her education, Brooke also finds time to support elderly people through the James Bay Community project. Once a week she volunteers as an assistant to the elderly, taking her companions for walks, helping them with day-to-day tasks or simply having a visit.

Crystal Demmons, Elizabeth Métis Settlement

Crystal is currently studying criminal justice at Lethbridge College. Raised by two loving parents who were actively involved in the community, Crystal saw firsthand the power of giving back. Her whole life she has been involved in her community in some capacity, whether as a Little League Coach, School Board Member, or the Jamboree Committee. Crystal also worked with her community’s Restorative Justice program, which sparked her interest in Criminal Justice. She is passionate about finding ways for youth and first time offenders who have perpetrated crimes to repair the damage they’ve caused and rejoin their communities. After graduating in 2018 Crystal plans to return to Elizabeth Métis Settlement and put her education to work as an advocate for young offenders.

Natashi Janvier, Cold Lake First Nations

Natashi is currently enrolled as an Accounting Technician at Portage College. It’s an education she plans to pursue in the short term, and plans to pursue psychology shortly thereafter. Having seen in detail the impacts of trauma, Natashi wants to help others find the same strength and courage she has cultivated in her own life. An advocate for mental health, Natashi participated in her college’s Make Noise for Mental Health campaign. She is also a student ambassador.

 

About Osum Spark Awards

The Osum Spark Awards are four $5000 scholarships awarded to secondary students, post secondary students or apprentices from Indigenous communities near Osum’s project areas in northern Alberta.

These areas include:

  • Cold Lake First Nations, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation, Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, Metis Nation of Alberta Region 2 and Region 5, Elizabeth Metis Settlement, Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement, Kikino Metis Settlement, Metis Local 1935, Bigstone Cree Nation or Fort McMurray #468 First Nation;

 

Awards will be distributed to:

  • Two winners from Cold Lake First Nations
  • One winner from the Lakeland area (not Cold Lake First Nations)
  • One winner from the Wabasca region