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Involvement in the Aboriginal Community

Home Involvement in the Aboriginal Community

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The Jim Bourque Connection

The Halifax Group had virtually no involvement with Aboriginal people until Jim Bourque attended a company picnic in June 1994. Born into a Cree and Metis family in Wandering River, Alberta in 1935, the Honourable James Bourque P.C. was at the time of his introduction to The Halifax Group, the co-director of policy for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People. Jim's commitment to public service started early when he was elected president of the hunter and trapper association in Fort Chipewyan when he was eighteen. Following a term as the park warden in Wood Buffalo National Park, Jim served as chairman of the Metis Association of the Northwest Territories, founded, and served as chair of, the Fur Institute of Canada, chaired the Northwest Territories Constitutional Committee, and held the position of Deputy Minister Renewable Resources for the NWT government. On July 1, 1992, Jim was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

A life time activist and promoter of Aboriginal values and traditional knowledge, Jim was also a cosmopolitan, world traveler, interested in the benefits which science and technology might provide to Canadian Aboriginals. In January 1995, The Halifax Group and Jim's family incorporated Transpolar Technology Corporation to pursue, at that time, non-traditional Aboriginal business opportunities.

The Jim Bourque Scholarship

Jim died suddenly in Ottawa in October 1996. In 1997, the government of the Northwest Territories and Transpolar Technology Corporation jointly funded a scholarship to honour Jim's memory. Administered by the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, every year the scholarship provides a single award of $1,000 to a deserving Aboriginal student. The selection committee includes three members: a representative of the Bourque family, a representative of the NWT government, and a representative of The Halifax Group.  Beginning with the award for 2013, The Halifax Group / Transpolar implemented an additional bonus grant of $1,000 to the selected applicant.

The "Other" Scholarship

As the years passed, the quality of the applications increased to the extent that the determination of a winner was often based on barely discernable differences, leaving some very deserving applicants empty handed. Realizing that an award of $1,000 might ensure continuing the pursuit of higher education, The Halifax Group and Transpolar Technology Corporation implemented a discretionary matching grant program, based on the same criteria as The Jim Bourque Scholarship.  In 2013 the individual grants were increased from $1,000 to $1,500.

The Jim Bourque Scholarship Winners

1998 Jayda Mercredi Native Studies, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK
1999 Stephen Watkinson Fisheries Center, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
2000 Lana Lowe Geography, University of Victoria Victoria, BC
2001 Jeff Rouse Environmental Studies and Law, York University Toronto, ON
2002 Jeff Rouse Environmental Studies and Law, York University Toronto, ON
2003 Jeff Rouse Environmental Studies and Law, York University Toronto, ON
2004 Christopher Clarke Environmental Design, University of Calgary Calgary, AB
2005 Tina Benoit School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University Victoria, BC
2006 David O'Soup College of Education, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK
2007 David O'Soup College of Education, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK
2008 Jarett Nevill Biological Sciences, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB
2009 Leanna Farr Masters Environmental Studies and Juris Doctor, York University and Osgoode Hall Law Bear Island, ON
2010 Tyrell Callioux Environmental Science, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Edmonton, AB
2011 Sheena Dubyk Education, University of Regina

Prince Albert, SK

2012 Baillie Redfern Genome Science and Technology, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
2013 Amber Giles Master Marine Management , Dalhousie University

Halifax NS

2014 Tiana Shea BSc in Environmental and Conservation Science AND
BA in Native Studies, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
2015 Nicole Laci Law, University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC

2016 Monique Chapman Marine Biology, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS


The Halifax Group/Transpolar Technology Corporation Grant recipients

2003 Christopher Clarke 2013 Demetria King
2003 Leah Dorion 2013 Scott MacDonald
2004 Lana Lowe 2013 Phil Beaudry
2004 Christina Gruben 2013 Kirstin Scansen
2004 Tina Benoit 2013 Levi Kingfisher
2004 Johanne McCarthy 2013 Wilma Oombash
2004 Vezina Brandi 2013 Justine LaForme
2006 Christina Gruben 2014 Carmen Chelick
2006 Janessa Nevill 2014 Monique Chapman
2006 Jarett Nevill 2014 Demetria King
2009 Leanna Farr 2014 Julie Waine
2009 Shane Dubyk 2014 Scott MacDonald
2009 Stephanie Judge 2014 Janesse  Boudreau
2010 Candace Dow 2015 Colleen Ducharme
2010 Jarett Nevill 2015 Dakota Erutse
2010 Mya Horley 2015 Elizabeth Ignace
2010 Janine Manning 2015 Madison Hill
2011 Ernie Last 2015 Michelle Myers
2011 Mark Patenaude 2015 Monique Chapman
2011 Tiana Shea 2015 Scott MacDonald
2011 Tonya Crowchild 2015 Tayler Fleming
2011 Jennifer Stonechild 2015 Demetria King
2011 Jarett Nevill 2015 Janesse Boudreau
2011 Aimee Lafferty 2016 Demetria King
2012 Marie-Christine Mallet 2016 Alina Lizotte
2012 Demetria King 2016 Janesse Boudreau
2012 Scott MacDonald 2016 Tayler Fleming
2012 Sheena Dubyk 2016 Scott MacDonald
2012 Tiana Shea 2016 Allison Barton
2012 Rhyannon Alexander 2016 Colleen Ducharme
2012 Krista McFadyen    
2013 Tiana Shea    
2013 Seena Dubyk    
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