Enbridge Donates $60,000 to Brandon University in support of Dakota Language Program

October 30, 2012

BRANDON, MB – This past Friday, Dr. Deborah Poff, Brandon University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, was joined by Jamie Honda McNeil, Enbridge’s Manager of Aboriginal Affairs, at a celebration for the two student recipients of the newly-established Enbridge Dakota Language Scholarship.

Recipients Sheree Blacksmith, currently in her first year of study in the Indigenous Health and Human Services program, and third-year Native Studies and Languages student, Janine Morin-West, were accompanied by their family members and senior administration from Brandon University to honour their achievement in receiving this award.

“It was my pleasure to host this celebration of Sheree and Janine’s student awards. I sincerely enjoyed meeting their families and welcoming our guests from Enbridge to this celebration at Brandon University,” said Dr. Poff. “The student recipients of this award, through their dedication and achievement, will become ambassadors for the program, exemplifying what can be achieved with hard work and commitment to excellence.”

The event marks the beginning of a three-year partnership with Enbridge in support of the Dakota language. Committing a total of $60,000 to Brandon University, Enbridge is the direct funder of the Dakota Language Program in the Native Studies Department, and supports two annual student scholarships valued at $2,500 each.

“Enbridge is proud to partner with Brandon University to support the revitalization of our country’s Aboriginal languages through our commitment to the Dakota Language Program and the Enbridge Dakota Language Awards,” said Jamie Honda-McNeil, Enbridge’s Manager of Aboriginal Affairs. “We’d like to congratulate this year’s award recipients. We hope these awards will enable recipients to foster the preservation of the Dakota language.”

Dr. Bruce Strang, Dean of Arts at Brandon University, was pleased to join the group and celebrate Brandon University’s new Dakota Language Program, as well as the two students’ achievement.

“The Brandon University community warmly appreciates Enbridge’s support for the teaching of the Dakota language,” said Dr. Strang. “We are committed to the preservation of Aboriginal languages, and we are working with elders, the Southern Chiefs, and Manitoba First Nations Educational Resource Centre to train a new generation of Aboriginal learners who can teach languages in an immersion setting in First Nations’ communities. Enbridge’s support enables us to realize this goal.”


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For more information, please contact:

Vicki Klassen
Associate Vice-President (External)
Brandon University
270-18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
T: (204) 727-9689