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Office of Aboriginal Initiatives | Newsletter Premiere Issue • October 2013 STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES Lacrosse Leads to PhD “Only a lucky few researchers get to see the impact of their work.” A lacrosse stick led Allan Downey to university and a deeper understanding of his Aboriginal roots. As a kid who struggled in school, lacrosse gave him joy, purpose and a scholarship to an American college. It also kindled an interest in history and his Aboriginal heritage. After four years in the U.S., Downey enrolled in graduate studies at Wilfrid Laurier University where a vibrant Aboriginal support program inspired him to combine lacrosse, academics and a renewed sense of identity as a First Nations person. Now a PhD candidate studying the history of lacrosse, he credits Laurier for encouraging him to use his research as a tool for mentoring Aboriginal youth. “Laurier enabled me to use the history of the game I’m writing about to help re-empower Indigenous communities,” he says. “Only a lucky few researchers get to see the impact of their work.” “Laurier supported me in asking, ‘How can I effectively take my research and help communities with it?’” ALLAN DOWNEY, NAK’AZDLI FIRST NATION, Laurier Student Bursary Recipients of the SUNDANCe Award Rachael Simon, Ojibway, and Elizabeth McLeod, Cree, are the Laurier recipients for the 20122013 SUNDANCe Aboriginal Award, an award created to recognize Aboriginal students who give back to their communities. The award acknowledges their hard work and meaningful contributions towards building a thriving campus community for Aboriginal students at Laurier. Another honour for Elizabeth McLeod, Role Model for Healthy Living Elizabeth McLeod, a 4th year Honours Kinesiology student received the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative in recognition of her contributions to diabetes awareness and prevention for the Aboriginal community. PHD CANDIDATE IN HISTORY FACULTY OF EDUCATION The Office of Aboriginal Initiatives present AN EVENING WITH THE HOURS THAT REMAIN KEITH BARKER THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013 SENATE & BOARD CHAMBER | 6 P.M. Fascinated by the natural world Third year biology student and NSERC undergraduate research award recipient, Kristy Dockstader, Oneida Nation of the Thames, has for the past two summers done laboratory research. Her intention after graduation is to pursue a Masters in Biology. WATERLOO CAMPUS ALL WELCOME | THERE IS NO COST TO ATTEND Artwork by Travis Murphy, published by Playwrights Canada Press 8 For event details, contact Spy Dénommé-Welch at “I didn’t grow up on the reserve and was never very in touch with my heritage, but since coming to Laurier, I’ve met so many great people and learned so much about my heritage.” KRISTY DOCKSTADER

Laurier Aboriginal Newsletter Fall 2013

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