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Bursaries now available for Ts’udelhti participants

Students participating in School District No. 57’s Indigenous welcoming and graduation ceremony – known as Ts’udelhti – will be eligible to receive bursaries from Canadian Tire and the Prince George Native Friendship Centre.
 
Canadian Tire’s Prince George store is sponsoring four bursaries, each in the amount of $500, while the Prince George Native Friendship Centre is sponsoring one bursary in the same amount.
 
“Having support like this from Canadian Tire is amazing,” said SD 57 Indigenous Education’s Lance Potskin, one of the organizers of Ts’udelhti. “Owner Selen Alpay, General Manager Dave Shuvera and their team have always gone above and beyond for us here and I can’t thank them enough. Being able to provide students with some extra help in achieving their goals and dreams is what our department is all about.”
 
The Canadian Tire bursaries focus on the four directions, seasons and life cycles. They will be awarded to students who demonstrate leadership qualities and excellence in: Strength of Mind (North) – student who has shown great academic growth and determination in their studies; Strength of Spirit (South) – student who is connected to their culture; Strength of Heart (East) – student who has supported others and displays emotional intelligence and resiliency; Strength of Body – student who has shown great commitment and determination to better themselves or others in athletics.

 The bursary from the Prince George Native Friendship Centre will go to a student who began their educational path in the PGNFC’s Head Start (pre-Kindergarten) program, which is designed to meet the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of children.  

“We’re incredibly pleased that PGNFC has put together a $500 bursary honouring a former Head Start student’s journey into post-secondary school or trades training. This support can be incredibly impactful for students starting their post-secondary education,” said Lisa Provencher, Early Learning Coordinator for SD 57 Indigenous Education and part of the Ts’udelhti organizing committee. “In the application, it asks what Head Start meant to the student and I think it’s going to be really neat and touching to hear the stories of graduates who went through Head Start or participated in Head Start and how that impacted their life.”  

The closing date for the Canadian Tire and PGNFC bursaries is June 15.  

This is the second year for Ts’udelhti but it will take place in a different form because of the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing protocols put in place by the provincial government.

For the second edition of Ts’udelhti, which means We Honour in Dakelh Lheidli dialect, SD 57 Indigenous Education is making a video that will seek to capture the spirit of a live ceremony.

The video will be released online at a specific time in late June to the families of participating high school graduates and incoming Kindergarten students. Each participant will receive a copy of the video, as well as a commemorative booklet.   The video will feature many of the same elements as the inaugural Ts’udelhti – congratulatory speeches by Nation dignitaries, an address by a graduating student who began their schooling in the Head Start program, and cultural performances. Bringing high school graduates and incoming Kindergarten students together in a virtual way to view the video will be a symbolic representation of the educational journey.

Renowned Lheidli T’enneh folk singer Kym Gouchie will perform in the Ts’udelhti video and so will jingle dress dancer Caitlyn McCarville, while Sonya Pighin and Dr. Dustin Louie have signed on as guest speakers. Pighin runs her own law firm in Victoria and Louie is a professor at the University of Calgary. Both are SD 57 alumni.

Participants will also receive a gift made by Two Rivers Art Gallery that incorporates a symbol of Ts’udelhti, a feather logo designed by Jennifer Pighin, Indigenous Education’s District Vice Principal of Language and Culture. Certificates for pizza, courtesy of Panago Pizza on Westwood Drive in Prince George, will be part of the gift package.

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