In partnership with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), a new scholarship program for students from Saugeen First Nations and Cape Croker has been created to honour the memory of long-time Unceded Chippewas of Nawash Chief Ralph Akiwenzie.
Bruce Power announced today it will be making the first donation in a four-year total funding commitment of $100,000 to support the formation of the Ralph Akiwenzie Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will support student grants at Saugeen First Nations and Cape Croker to support education development of young people.
“This announcement of the contribution from Bruce Power to the Chief Ralph Akiwenzie Scholarship Fund is greatly appreciated by the Unceded Chippewas of Nawash,” said Acting Chief Scott Lee. “Our late Chief dedicated his life to education about our language, our history, and our rights as First Nations people, whether it was while he was teaching in the classroom or from the council table.”
Acting Chief Lee said the scholarship fund will ensure Chief Akiwenzie’s passion will carry on in future generations.
“This will be a way in which our communities and others can honour our Chief’s memory and his efforts in his commitment to education. I believe everyone who ever had a conversation with Ralph walked away learning something new from him.”
Saugeen First Nation Chief Randall Kahgee said he is extremely pleased at the announcement of the Chief Ralph Akiwenzie Scholarship Fund.
“Chief Akiwenzie was a tremendous leader and role model for our people. Education was his passion – he believed education was the key to our success as a people and a Nation. He challenged everyone to dream and encouraged them to attain an education at the highest level.”
Chief Kahgee said the scholarship fund will open doors and provides access to much-needed resources to allow First Nations people to succeed.
“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to my friend.”
Bruce Power is contributing $100,000 to the program over four-years, which will be combined with $35,000 in proceeds from the annual Nawash golf tournament. Both the SON and Bruce Power will also work together to raise additional money to grow the fund.
“I can’t think of a better way to honour the memory of the late Chief Akiwenzie then to support an initiative that was always central to his passion – supporting the success of young people in his community,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I’m pleased we are making this multi-year commitment to this initiative and will support the establishment of the Ralph Akiwenzie Memorial Scholarship Fund.”
Chief Akiwenzie was a former school teacher and began his political career in 1981 when he was elected head councillor of the Cape Croker band office. He was elected Chief 11 times between 1981 and when he passed away on March 4, 2011.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corporation, TransCanada Corporation, BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.
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