Our Scholarship Students
We’re proud to showcase past and present scholarship students and the programs they have chosen, ranging from technical college courses to graduate studies at universities. We wish them all the very best as our future leaders in wise decision-making for the land and people!
Indigenous Language Revitalization
The University of Victoria offers certificate and Master’s programs in Indigenous Language Revitalization. One of these is a two week certificate program offered in Yellowknife through a partnership with the Government of the NWT, and the En'owkin Centre in Penticton, British Columbia.
These programs aim to support a generation of language experts who will have the language and academic skills to participate and lead successful language revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities. The graduate programs also serve to develop language scholars who will have the expertise to support post-secondary instruction in the revitalization, recovery and maintenance of Indigenous languages.
Ms. Tatti was born to the Sahtuotine First Nation on Great Bear River in the Northwest Territories, Canada and she is a fluent speaker, writer and storyteller of the North Slavey Language. For more than 30 years, Ms. Tatti has been a major force in bringing Dene languages and culture to prominence. She is recognized as a strong and effective advocate for Aboriginal languages and culture. She worked with the Dene Nation in the mid-1970s, as a Community Development Officer and a Land Use and Occupancy Researcher and Co-ordinator. Her work with the Dene Nation kept her in close touch with Elders which enhanced her abilities as an
For 23 years, Ms. Tatti worked with the Department of Education of the Government of the Northwest Territories, during which time she continued to work with the Elders. She was instrumental in developing and publishing many Dene language children's books. Based on her vision of Dene teachers as scribes for the Elders, Ms. Tatti undertook the tremendous task of bringing together Dene elders, teachers and language specialists to develop the first Dene languages curriculum. The Dene Kede curriculum, a legislated document, is a highly acclaimed piece of work which led to other jurisdictions in Canada inviting Fibbie to assist in developing their own aboriginal language curricula.
Throughout her career she has worked closely with Aboriginal leaders, elders, language experts, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers and inter-provincial education professionals. Ms. Tatti's experience in language and education contributed directly to her being chosen as co-chair of the Aboriginal Language Task Force during the mid 1980s. Ms.Tatti was instrumental in reflecting the needs and visions of the Elders through a number of recommendations including legislating the official recognition of the aboriginal languages of the NWT. As NWT Languages Commissioner, Ms. Fibbie Tatti acted as an advocate and monitoring agent of the NWT Official Languages Act, which includes the languages of Chipewyan, Cree, Dogrib, English, French, Gwich'in, lnuktitut, lnuinnaqtun, Iuvialuit, North Slavey and South Slavey. In addition to ensuring government services in the 11 NWT Official languages, the Act also ensures official Aboriginal languages preservation and development.
Ms. Tatti was also one of the first Aboriginal people to work with the communication media in the NWT. She produced and hosted a half-hour news and community affairs radio program in the Aboriginal language for CBC North. She was also the host for the first CBC North TV current affairs program. In recognition of her knowledge and experience, Ms. Tatti was invited to participate as an official delegate in the Governor General's State Visit to Russia in 2003. In September 2011, she was inducted onto the College of Education's Wall of Honour at the University of Saskatchewan. Ms. Tatti continues to work with and on behalf of the Dene in the development and enhancement of Dene languages and culture.
Fibbie completed her Master of Arts degree in Indigenous Education in May 2015 with a thesis entitled The Wind Waits For No One: Nı̨hts’ı Dene Ası̨́ Henáoréhɂı̨́le Ǫt’e: Spirituality in a Sahtúgot’ı̨nę Perspective. Fibbie continues to conduct research in Délı̨nę, with a focus on mapping placenames.
For more information please contact:
P.O. Box 1372
Yellowknife, NT XIA 2Pl
Laura Tutcho is a member of the Délı̨nę First Nation. She has had a long and varied career prior to entering Graduate studies for her Master in Indigenous Language Revitalization with the University of Victora, including research with elders, radio broadcasting, and most recently a position as Aboriginal Languages Coordinator with the Government of the NWT. Along the way, she succeeded in completing a diploma in Management Studies at Aurora College, as well as courses in the Interpreter/Translater and Aboriginal Language and Cultural Instruction.
Laura is a grandmother, and is determined to ensure that her Sahtúot’ı̨nę language remains alive for future generations. In June 2013, Laura was co-presenter with ethnomusicologist Nicole Beaudry of a paper entitled “When the Drums Speak” at the Dene Languages Conference hosted by the Tsuu T’ina Nation in Alberta. In pursuing her Master’s degree, she seeks to show other Dene that higher education in a field that supports Dene culture and language can be achieved. Her studies are providing her with an avenue to think about how to revitalize Aboriginal languages, what language revitalization is, and how to apply what we are learning to the north. In her own words, “It gives me the strength and back-up to advocate.”
Laura is especially interested in developing ideas and materials for new technologies for language preservation. She believes that technology can be used as a training tool. She understands the dangers of language loss, and the need for sustained work to prevent this, and to maintain Dene identity. Laura brings a strong awareness of issues, concerns, strengths that will benefit her people. She shows leadership in her ability to identify and name the struggles and concerns that the communities face when it comes to preserving the Aboriginal languages of the NWT.
Laura completed her Master of Education degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization in 2016, with a thesis entitled Ets’ulah: “The language is like ets’ulah. She continues to pursue her research interests through a collaboration with ethnomusicologist Nicole Beaudry on the Délı̨nę Song Book project.
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning [http://dechinta.ca] is a northern initiative delivering land-based, University of Alberta-credited educational experiences led by northern leaders, experts, elders and professors. Located off the grid in a remote eco-lodge accessible only by bush plane, snowmobile or dog team, learning from the land while living in community is central to the Dechinta experience. Gather under the northern lights to discuss Dene Political Theory around a fire. Ski or canoe to check fish nets, and gain hands on experience about ecosystems management. Collect medicines and learn regional history from expert elders. Contemplate the importance of land to community and life with a diverse group of students, volunteers and elders. Live in log cabins heated by woodstove, and enjoy amenities such as a sauna, hot tub, and organic gardens. Hunting, fishing and wild harvesting are integrated into the curriculum, led by dynamic and diverse faculty with direct experience in research and leadership in the subject areas.
Doris Taneton graduated from Ɂehtséo Ayha School in 2007, and her first job after graduation was a research trainee position with the Délı̨nę Knowledge Project. During that time, she played a central role in creating a digital oral history archive and database for the community. After a year’s maternity leave, Doris returned to work with the Délı̨nę Knowledge Project. She played a key role in coordinating youth-elder activities at Ɂehtséo Ayha School. Doris’s impressive academic achievements include a previous term at Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning, and university courses in the NWT Aboriginal Languages Revitalization Program.
Environmental and Natural Resource Technology Program, Aurora College
The Environment and Natural Resources Technology Program (ENRTP) is a two-year Diploma program at Aurora College in Fort Smith that is a popular choice for our scholarship students.
For those who need some additional academic credits to enter the ENRTP Diploma program, Aurora College offers s a 10 month access program, including courses in English, Math, Science and Introduction to Computers and an Environment Natural Resources Technology Foundations course.
The ENRTP Diploma program links opportunities to learn from experience in the field with academic coursework in the classroom and skill training in the laboratory. Graduates of the program possess the ability needed to succeed as technicians and officers in natural resource and environmental management careers including wildlife, forestry, marine and freshwater fisheries, planning, water resources, environmental protection, parks, land claim resource management, oil and gas, and mining. The program places emphasis on learning through experience.
Amber Powder is a member of the Tulı́t’a Land Corporation and is enrolled in the Environment and Natural Resources Access Program at Aurora College’s Thebacha Campus. Amber has an inclination towards working in the outdoors; she wants to study ecosystem management and caribou population management. After she completes the ENRTP program she plans on continuing her post secondary education at the University of Lethbridge, where she would like to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree.
Laura Krutko is a member of the Fort Norman Métis Nation, and a student in the Environment and Natural Resources Access Program. After graduating from Chief Albert Wright School in her home community of Tulı́t’a in 2006, Laura explored a couple of different career options. She completed the Building Trades Helper Program Certificate program at the Yellowknife Aurora College campus in 2008. During 2011-2012 she spent a year working in Tulı́t’a as a part time substitute teacher, student support assistant and librarian at the school, and cashier/stock person at the Northern store. She followed up this experience by completing the Teacher Assistant Certificate Program at Grande Prairie Regional College in 2012.
Laura enjoys sports, and has been active as a volunteer basketball coach. She was Youth Ambassador for the Canada Winter Games (2006) and Arctic Winter Games (2012), both in Whitehorse. During that time she had opportunities to give back to the community, and in the process gained both leadership and teamwork skills.
Rodney graduated from Ɂehtséo Ayha School in June, 2012 and was successful in applying to attend the ENRTP program the following fall. This is a rare accomplishment for a Sahtú youth! In high school, Rodney was known as a hard worker and role model for his classmates. Whether volunteering for a fundraiser, or being active in the community, Rodney was always willing to lend a hand. Through his involvement in hockey and soccer, Rodney was able to develop his talents as a team leader. He also had opportunities to learn by travelling. In 2009, he was part of the school tour to Europe. In 2012, he was trained as a Youth Ambassador for the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary area of study at universities, where culture and nature are understood to be deeply integrated, and where the social sciences, humanities, arts and natural sciences meet and inform each other. Environmental Studies students are encouraged to consider ecological, political and economic constraints and possibilities, and to explore how ideas and practical matters come together. This field provides opportunities for reflexive, rigorous, critical and creative thinking to inform policies and programs in environmental management.
Antoine Mountain is Dene from Rádeyı̨lı̨ Kǫ́ę́ (Fort Good Hope), and obtained a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies at York University. He is currently a student in a doctoral program at Trent University.
Antoine is a well-known acrylic artist in the Northwest Territories, and many of his murals can be seen on buildings in the communities of the Sahtú Region. Antoine considers nature to be the greatest muse of all, and reflects his love of the land and the Dene way of life in his works. His artistic goal is to help ensure that our youth of today might remember who they are as Dene, through various depictions taken from stories and beliefs. He comes from a very artistic family, and all of his close relatives are involved in one form of the arts or another, including sculpting, beading, sewing and even quillwork.
- Kara Chinna-Hendrie (2013-2014)
- Shawn Maxwell (2011-2012)
- Lisa McDonald (2011-2012)
- Jenna McDonald (2011-2012)
- Albert Steward (2011-2012)
- Jules Fournel (2010-2011)
- James T’seleie (2009-2011)
- Dan Wong (2009-2010)
- Andre Leeroy (2008-2009)