Today, Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) held its Annual Celebration for students completing their studies. SNP looks to the future with optimism as they gear up to open an additional campus in Brantford this fall. In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, SNP hopes that the Brantford and Six Nations Campuses will be able to serve as a hub for reconciliation.
“Many of our Six Nations families know only too well how our history continues to impact us all,” said SNP President, Rebecca Jamieson. “While it is painful to face the past, at SNP we witness the resilience of our people every day and so we continue our efforts to revitalize our languages and to build opportunities based on hope for our collective future while working with our partners.”
Several coveted honours were awarded to students during the celebration. Receiving the Harvey Longboat Sr. Memorial Scholarship this year is Kaitlyn M. Douglas for achieving the highest overall average in the Native University Program (NUP). This award is dedicated in memory of Harvey Longboat Sr. who, during his term with the SNP Board of Governors, created the “Philosophy” by which SNP strives to function today.
This year the Marge and Reg Henry Cayuga Language Award was given to Chelsea Gibson for achieving the single highest grade in a Cayuga language course in NUP, demonstrating a commitment to maintaining and preserving the Cayuga language. “Marge and Reg were both fluent in the Cayuga language, worked diligently at promoting the preservation of the language and left the legacy of the Henry Orthography – a phonetic writing system used to write the Cayuga Language,” said Jamieson.
The Vina Loft Mohawk Language Award was given to Marissa Martin for achieving the highest overall average for Mohawk language in NUP. This award is given in honour of Vina Loft, who was a fluent Mohawk speaker who worked at promoting the spoken language in many ways. Her first dedication to the retention of the language was to teach all of her children to speak the language.
Also receiving a special acknowledgement this year was Richard Hill, Senior Projects Coordinator for the Deyohaha:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre. To celebrate Hill’s forthcoming honorary degree from McMaster University SNP Board members and McMaster Professor Daniel Coleman made a special presentation acknowledging Hill’s many achievements. Hill will officially receive his honorary degree at McMaster’s Spring Convocation on Wednesday, June 15th.
“Rick has contributed immensely to the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge at home and abroad,” said Jamieson. “As a practicing artist, cultural historian, teaching elder, researcher, community leader, curator, art historian and speaker, we are delighted and very proud that McMaster University has chosen to honour and respect Rick’s lifetime of research and learning.”
2016 Award Recipients:
Harvey Longboat Sr. Memorial Scholarship:
Kaitlyn M. Douglas, Native University Program
Marge & Reg Henry Cayuga Language Award:
Chelsea M. Gibson, Native University Program
Vina Loft Mohawk Language Award:
Marissa N. Martin, Native University Program
Watson Parojcic Financial Bursaries – Highest Average:
Samantha E. Cook, Social Service Worker
Jodee S. Hill, Office Administration - General
Katsitsionhawi Hill-McNaughton, Ogwehoweh Language Diploma – Mohawk
Gasenneeyoh Crawford Ogwehoweh Language Diploma – Cayuga
Danielle J. Jonathan, Indigenous Visual Arts
*NEW* Sun Life Financial Award – Academic Excellence
Katelyn R. Johnson, Early Childhood Education
Danielle T. Barnett, Early Childhood Education
Aboriginal Institutes Consortium Instructor Award:
Lisa Bomberry, Social Service Worker
Aboriginal Institutes Consortium Student Scholarship Award:
Tonia L. Hill, Early Childhood Education