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Onion Lake Cree Nation woman earns TD scholarship – Saskatoon

One of this year’s 25 TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples recipients hails from Onion Lake Cree Nation.

“The idea that TD saw enough value in the work that I’m doing to be able to be a recipient of this award is super, super meaningful,” Dante Carter said Friday.

Carter sits on a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission response team for the prairie region and acts as a mentor to Indigenous students. Her mission is to create safe spaces for Indigenous people to express themselves fully.

“My grandpa was a residential school survivor and he passed away before there was the idea that it was OK to be Indigenous, you could celebrate your identity,” she said. “It’s really about making an impact and a future where Indigenous peoples can celebrate their identity.”

She is taking her interdisciplinary master’s — specializing in Indigenous knowledge — at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She will spend the upcoming school year writing her thesis on economic abuse, and then hopes to do her PhD.

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“I think it has made a significant impact, both emotional and financial  stress levels alleviated,” Carter said. “I’ve been consistently told not to work while I’ m writing my thesis starting in September, and this scholarship means that I can actually not have to work a full-time job while I’m writing my thesis.”

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Each successful applicant receives $15,000 per year for up to four years for tuition and living expenses. Recipients are also offered internship opportunities with TD, and can receive offers of employment after successfully completing their studies.

Click to play video: 'National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation receives donation to help build new home'

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation receives donation to help build new home

Carter currently works for TD’s Environmental, Social, Governance strategy team. She hopes to stay in a similar position after finishing school.

“I definitely want to stay in a role that I can have direct impact on Indigenous people’s wellbeing and economic success.”

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The TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples program launched in November 2022, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association (AFOA) Canada. It is open to students who are members or citizens of a First Nation,  Métis, or Inuit community in Canada.

Associate Vice President of Eastern Canada with TD Indigenous Banking Group Pheroz Austin said well over 1,200 people applied this year.

“It was a remarkable increase year-over-year, and a true testament to how important a need this is,” Austin said. “But also a true testament to that engagement, that commitment, that TD Bank has made to the Truth and Reconciliation’s call to action.”

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