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U of R honours RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Award winners

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 6, 2022 1:00 p.m.

 Dr. Keshen, Kokum Brenda Dubois, Lori Campbell, Misty Longman and representatives from RBC were on-hand to celebrate the 2022 RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Award winners Sebastian Eger, Pearl Robertson, Taylor Soderberg, and Sequoia Yellowhair.
Dr. Keshen, Kokum Brenda Dubois, Lori Campbell, Misty Longman and representatives from RBC were on-hand to celebrate the 2022 RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Award winners Sebastian Eger, Pearl Robertson, Taylor Soderberg, and Sequoia Yellowhair. University Advancement and Communications

Since 2017, the University of Regina, through the ta-tawâw Student Centre and with the support of RBC, has been celebrating Indigenous students who are developing and practising skills and knowledge as leaders in the community.

Every year, four students are selected as winners of the RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Awards. The award categories are: Academic Development, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Cultural Development.

Science student Sebastian Eger was named the Academic Development recipient because of his foundation of academic skills and his understanding of the learning styles, priorities, challenges, and strengths needed to achieve his academic goals.

Pearl Robertson, a Human Justice student, is the winner of the Personal Development award due to her ability to realize her personal goals using the skills to persevere in the face of personal obstacles.

 

This year’s Professional Development recipient, Human Justice student Taylor Soderberg, has established a successful history of professional and volunteer experience that upon graduation will lead to successful employment in her field, and is committed to initiating and supporting opportunities for future students in gaining employment.

Social Work student Sequoia Yellowhair, has a strong sense of belonging within Indigenous communities and culture, as well as a foundational understanding of the importance of re-connecting with her culture, language, and traditional knowledge, which is why she was named winner of the Cultural Development Award.

 

University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen, along with Knowledge Keeper kokum Brenda Dubois and Andy Wolske, RBC Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Regina, were among the guests who gathered today to celebrate the winners, who each received a $2,500 award from RBC.  

“Neekaneewak in Michif means, ‘they are leading,’ and I think that very accurately describes these outstanding students,” Dr. Keshen said. “They have dedicated themselves to excelling in their academics, making their communities a better place, supporting their families, and maintaining a connection to their culture. I’m so pleased to be able to celebrate the success they’ve achieved throughout their leadership journeys.”

“The inspiring journey of each recipient demonstrates without a doubt that they’re each already leaders through the commitment to their development, and the application of their knowledge and skills towards diverse experiences over the past year,” added Andy Wolske, RBC Vice President Commercial Financial Services. “Congratulations to Pearl, Sequoia, Taylor and Sebastien on this outstanding achievement. And thank you to the Elders, alumni, and fellow students who are at the heart of the Neekaneewak Leadership Initiative.”

Truth & Reconciliation is one of five areas of focus in the University of Regina’s [2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak – All Our Relations]. We strive to honour and integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and being in our teaching and research endeavours.