RESEARCHING THE HEART AND SOUL OF CANADA
Shelagh Grant Endowment Award Supports Travel and Translators for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies
“I believe the ‘heart and soul’ of what it means to be Canadian lies in the far corners of this great nation. Canada is a vast, multicultural and multilingual country that cannot be studied solely through books, documents or multimedia formats. Archival research is important, but so is the ability to visit the location of one’s research, to talk to the people who live there and learn first-hand their views and experiences.” Shelagh Grant, May 2010
With her passion and dedication to the field of Canadian and Arctic Studies, Shelagh’s friends, family and colleagues came together to create the Shelagh Grant Endowment Award to assist graduate students in Trent’s Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies whose planned research requires travel outside of southern Ontario. Announced in March 2010, the award may also provide funding for a professional, simultaneous translator for interviews or discussions in an Aboriginal community.
The new endowment fund is already making a difference in the lives of two Trent students – Celine Vukson, a second-year student in the Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies M.A. program, and Kimberly Wilson, a first-year master’s student in the same program – the inaugural recipients of the award.
“I want to say “masi cho” (thank you) to the friends and family of Shelagh Grant for establishing this award. They are helping one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal nations work at maintaining their Indigenous language and culture for the next generation,” said Ms. Vukson, whose research explores an ancestral story that occurred in the far North in the late 19th century and the oral history of women’s roles from that period. ” The award helps me with travel arrangements and to verify transcripts.”
Kimberly Wilson is using the award to build on her research project examining environmental decision-making processes in First Nations’ communities in the context of oil and gas development in Northeastern Alberta. “It is important to connect with communities and regions related to research and this would help frame that research from a community perspective,” she says about the award, adding, “Without the funding there is a chance that I would not be able to go or would be constricted to time limits while out there.”