University of Regina alumna and doctoral candidate Amber Fletcher has received a Governor General's Youth Award in recognition of her work in promoting the equality of women and girls in Canada. The award commemorates the "Persons Case", a court decision that in 1929 clarified and confirmed the legal rights of women as "qualified persons" in Canadian law.
Fletcher is currently completing her doctorate in Canadian Plains Studies at the University of Regina, examining agricultural policy, climate change and the future of farm women in Saskatchewan. She received a bachelor of arts (Hons) in women's studies from the University of Regina in 2006, followed by her master of arts in women's studies from York University in 2008.
In addition to the Governor General's award, Fletcher has received a three-year scholarship from the national Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support her doctoral work, and two scholarships from the University of Regina, including the Alumni Association's Leadership Award. Her volunteer activities include working with several women's and feminist organizations, plus four-month job placements as an English teacher in Japan and Tanzania. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Fletcher says, made her aware of the importance of community.
"I believe it's essential to build and maintain community relationships through volunteering and the pursuit of social justice; it's part of our responsibility to each other," she states. "I am fortunate to be part of a group of activists who inspired me to work toward social change."
Regarding the Governor General's Award, which she received at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Fletcher says she was honoured to have her efforts recognized, and grateful to everyone who taught her that positive change is possible when everyone is willing to work at it together.