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Roseau River scholar to study law.

A University of Victoria law student has garnered Canada's premier social sciences and humanities doctoral award-the Trudeau Scholarship.

Dawnis Kennedy is an Anishinabe woman currently completing a master of Laws degree at UVic. She is one of 15 Canadian students to be named a 2006 Trudeau Scholar. Created in 2003, the Trudeau Foundation Scholarship program awards the largest scholarships in Canada for doctoral studies in the social sciences and humanities. She will receive a scholarship worth up to $150,000 over three years and will be matched with prominent national and international leaders in her field.

She was chosen for the award based on her good grades, letters of sponsorship from her professors, and her contributions to the community. Kennedy travels home to Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation in Manitoba quite a bit so she can participate in Anishinabe culture and ceremonies. She has also been involved in Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto and with the Indigenous Law Students Associations at UVic and University of Toronto. Once she finishes her studies at UVic this fall, Kennedy will begin the Doctor of Juridical Science degree program at the University of Toronto.

"I wanted to go into law because my interest and my family's interest were very much about revitalizing our community and culture," she said. "Canadian law has had a huge impact upon our communities. I wanted to think about ways that Canadian law could relate more respectfully to Indigenous peoples and support the revitalization movement that is happening in Indigenous communities."

"Dawnis' success not only reflects the outstanding quality of students and programs at the University of Victoria," said Dr. Catherine Mateer, UVic's acting vice-president academic and provost, "but it also celebrates the university's commitment to strengthening its unique relationships with First Nations communities."

"I felt tremendously supported at UVic," said Kennedy. "It's really important that Indigenous students find their own approach to material. My supervisors have been amazing. I've been able to develop my own voice and I think this may be one of the reasons I received the scholarship. I don't think it would be as easy to do this if UVic didn't already have this supportive community in Indigenous law."

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COPYRIGHT 2006 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:back to school
Publication:Windspeaker
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:365
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