As part of our commitment to supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, First Peoples Law is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of our Indigenous Law Student Scholarship, awarded to Indigenous law students with a demonstrated commitment to serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.
While we had initially intended to award one scholarship, in the end we couldn't decide between the two finalists so decided to award them each a $5,000 scholarship.
Everyone at First Peoples Law is extremely excited for the opportunity to support our scholarship recipients in their studies. We are confident they will make important contributions to defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. We're looking forward to carrying it on next year.
Congratulations to Anita Cardinal-Stewart and Mary McPherson!
Anita Cardinal-Stewart is Nehiyaw Iskwew, a proud member of Woodland Cree First Nations #474 situated on Treaty 8 territory and a 3rd-year law student at the University of Alberta where she is currently the President of the Indigenous Law Students Association, and also serves as the President of the National Indigenous Law Students Association and sits as a Student Representative on the Indigenous Bar Association.
Tansi, I am both humbled and honored to be a recipient of this year's scholarship from First Peoples Law who are doing amazing work in the legal field. I know I stand among so many other worthy and remarkable Indigenous law students from across the nation and each and every one of them deserves every recognition and every possibility of success and I am just grateful to be one of them. Law school is filled with many experiences, some of them good some of them not so good but when we have a strong community and we stand together as Indigenous law students, we can make a change to legal education and of the practice of law that will be in accordance with our laws and our ways. So, let's walk together in this journey towards Indigenous Nationhood and Sovereignty and pay it forward any chance we get. I promise to always do that and make each day, every day meaningful. Hiy Hiy Kinanaskomiti.
Photo credit: Tristan Talalee
Mary is a daughter, sister, auntie, and an Ojibway member of Couchiching First Nation. She grew up in Thunder Bay, working as an artist while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Indigenous Learning. Mary is currently in her third year of law at the University of Ottawa.
I am sincerely appreciative to be selected as a recipient of the First Peoples Law Scholarship. I am just one voice of many brilliant Indigenous law students, and I am comforted to see the various ways Indigenous law students are advancing changes for their communities. My people have a unique worldview that offers an entirely different way of understanding the world; however, we continue to face oppression, socio-economic disadvantage, and misperceptions of who we are. I look forward to continuing on a journey where I can assist in the wellbeing of my communities, and I am grateful for First Peoples Law’s support. Miigwetch.
Photo credit: Sarah McPherson
Tansi, my name is Laura Beaudry and I am Nêhiyaw and Métis from Grouard, Alberta. I grew up on the Kapawe’no First Nation, also surrounded by my family’s Métis Settlements; Peavine and Gift Lake. I am a third-year law student at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. I look forward to working for Indigenous peoples, particularly where sovereignty and self-governance are concerned. This includes treaty rights, Métis law, and Aboriginal rights and title. I am honoured to stand alongside the winners of this award! Thank you to First Peoples Law for your recognition of strong Indigenous leaders and future lawyers.
Tanshi! My name is Kaelyn Macaulay and I am a Métis woman from Alberta. I am in the 3rd year of my BCL/JD studies at McGill University and I have been using the transsystemic focus to connect my studies with diverse Indigenous legal traditions. I aim to promote Indigenous perspectives on campus as the VP of Diversity and Inclusion for the McGill Business Law Association and as an active team member for Rooted, McGill’s Indigenous law journal. I am hoping to build my legal career as a bridge that fosters respect and prosperity between Indigenous interests and the corporate sector.
Tawnshi! My name is Brianna Morrison, and I am a Métis Cree woman from Edmonton, Alberta. I am a first-year JD candidate at the University of Toronto. I chose to pursue law to be in a position where I can advance better standards of care for Indigenous Peoples within the Canadian healthcare system. My passion for health law is a personal one stemming from witnessing my father’s treatment by healthcare professionals. I aspire to be an advocate for patients’ rights and a facilitator for a greater incorporation of Indigenous traditional healing practices and medicines. I am immensely grateful to First Peoples Law for an honourable mention.
First Peoples Law LLP is a law firm dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We work exclusively with Indigenous Peoples to defend their inherent and constitutionally protected title, rights and Treaty rights, uphold their Indigenous laws and governance and ensure economic prosperity for their current and future generations.
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