I am from the Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation located in Treaty 3 Territory (Northwestern Ontario) but now reside in the GTA Treaty 13 Territory – Territory of the host nation – Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. I have worked with various Indigenous community organizations in southern Ontario, including the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

I am very proud of my grassroots and have been dancing Jingle for many years. My education background is in Early Childhood Education, Social Service Work, and Indigenous Adult Education. During my studies, I was an Indigenous Student Ambassador for Seneca College and York University, which provided opportunities to go throughout campuses to discuss/educate students and faculty about Indigenous cultural safety with a focus on Residential School history. I recently completed my Master of Education – Urban Indigenous Cohort at York University.

I am also a world traveler with my journeys taking me as far as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea and South America. However, my main ambition in life is to continue educating others about the importance of restoring Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships around the globe and continue to work and support the Indigenous student community on their education journey.

Reason why I am gifting this bursary is to honor the long line of family members who have been impacted by the Residential School System on both sides of my family – paternal – Cobiness and maternal – Sinclair/Petawanikweb and to honor my Great/Grandparents.

This is eligible to students Registered in Secondary/Post-Secondary or Indigenous (First Nation, Metis, Inuit) Community Members who are preparing for education journey – academic upgrading, field placements, trades and apprentices, etc. Applicants will write a brief write-up on how they plan on using the bursary towards their education or preparation of education journey.

In loving memory of Copenance & Sinclair Family, Grandparents Gladys & William and Rosalie.