Aboriginal Community Involvement

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 traveller, 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 Halifax Group/Transpolar Technology Corporation Grant

As the years passed, the quality of the applications increased to the extent that the determination of a winner was often based on barely discernible 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

2019Joanne SpeakmanBSc Environmental and Conservation Sciences, University of AlbertaEdmonton, AB
2018Zoey BourgeoisBiochemistry, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK
2017Monique ChapmanMarine Biology, Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, NS
2016Monique ChapmanMarine Biology, Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, NS
2015Nicole LaciLaw, University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC
2014Tiana SheaBSc in Environmental and Conservation Science AND BA in Native Studies, University of AlbertaEdmonton, AB
2013Amber GilesMaster Marine Management, Dalhousie UniversityHalifax NS
2012Baillie RedfernGenome Science and Technology, University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC
2011Sheena DubykEducation, University of ReginaPrince Albert, SK
2010Tyrell CalliouxEnvironmental Science, Southern Alberta Institute of TechnologyEdmonton, AB
2009Leanna FarrMasters Environmental Studies and Juris Doctor, York University and Osgoode Hall LawBear Island, ON
2008Jarett NevillBiological Sciences, University of AlbertaEdmonton, AB
2007David O’SoupCollege of Education, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK
2006David O’SoupCollege of Education, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK
2005Tina BenoitSchool of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads UniversityVictoria, BC
2004Christopher ClarkeEnvironmental Design, University of CalgaryCalgary, AB
2003Jeff RouseEnvironmental Studies and Law, York UniversityToronto, ON
2002Jeff RouseEnvironmental Studies and Law, York UniversityToronto, ON
2001Jeff RouseEnvironmental Studies and Law, York UniversityToronto, ON
2000Lana LoweGeography, University of VictoriaVictoria, BC
1999Stephen WatkinsonFisheries Center, University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC
1998Jayda MercrediNative Studies, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK

The Halifax Group/Transpolar Technology Corporation Grant Recipients

2019Danielle Patzer
Jax Bailey
Demetria King
Kirstyn Isaac
Julia Greenham
Zoey Bourgeois
Diane Marin
Chevaun Toulouse
Tyler Jones
2018Taylor Fleming
Shakita Jensen
Mikaela Vandell
Kayla Murphy
Julia Greenham
Joshua Komangapik
Joanne Speakman
Jill Belanger
Jax Bailey
Alyssa Pelletier
2017Allison Baron
Joshua Komangapik
Brock Lewis
Kayla Murphy
Scott MacDonald
Kenecia Tootoosis
Tayler Flemming
Jonah Qittusuk
2016Demetria King
Alina Lizotte
Colleen Ducharme
Allison Barton
Scott MacDonald
Tayler Fleming
Janesse Boudreau
2015Colleen Ducharme
Demetria King
Janesse Boudreau
Dakota Erutse
Tayler Fleming
Scott MacDonald
Monique Chapman
Michelle Myers
Madison Hill
Elizabeth Ignace
2014Carmen Chelick
Monique Chapman
Demetria King
Julie Waine
Scott MacDonald
Janesse Boudreau
2013Tiana Shea
Seena Dubyk
Demetria King
Scott MacDonald
Phil Beaudry
Kirstin Scansen
Levi Kingfisher
Wilma Oombash
Justine LaForme
2012 Marie-Christine Mallet
Demetria King
Scott MacDonald
Sheena Dubyk
Tiana Shea
Rhyannon Alexander
Krista McFadyen
2011Aimee Lafferty
Jarett Nevill
Jennifer Stonechild
Tonya Crowchild
Tiana Shea
Ernie Last
Mark Patenaude
2010Candace Dow
Jarett Nevill
Mya Horley
Janine Manning
2009Stephanie Judge
Leanna Farr
Shane Dubyk
2006Christina Gruben
Janessa Nevill
Jarett Nevill
2004Lana Lowe
Christina Gruben
Tina Benoit
Johanne McCarthy
Vezina Brandi
2003Christopher Clarke
Leah Dorion