RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Award Winners

News Release Release Date: April 6, 2022 3:30 p.m.

At a special ceremony today the University of Regina and RBC celebrated the winners of the RBC Neekaneewak Leadership Awards. The awards recognize Indigenous students who are developing and practising skills and knowledge as leaders in the community.

“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.”

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.

“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.”

The awards are supported by RBC and the University’s ta-tawâw Student Centre with each recipient receiving $2,500 from RBC.


About the University of Regina

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,000 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.


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