Four new scholarships are now available to Aboriginal students across the province, with the financial aid being offered in memory of two people who contributed greatly to promotion of Metis culture and history.
The Delia Gray Scholarships and Joey Gladue Scholarships were announced by the Edmonton Metis Cultural Dance Society Nov. 16 during the Louis Riel Banquet, held as part of Metis Week celebrations.
The idea to establish the scholarships came about after the death of Joey Gladue, a member of the dance society who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in September 1999.
"We wanted to find a lasting way to keep his memory in the community," explained Lyle Donald, co-ordinator for the dance society. "In these two scholarships we're going to be awarding we want to recognize these two people that we lost over the year."
Delia Gray, a Metis Elder, also passed away in 1999, at the age of 82.
Gladue, who was 18 when he died, was one of Canada's top Metis Dancers, and was a four-time Canadian Red River Jig Junior Champion. He was a positive role model, and a promoter of Metis dance.
Gray was the Provincial Elder and Advisor for the Metis Nation of Alberta, and was very involved in the dance society. She and her husband Robert were involved in development of the Canadian Native Friendship Centre. Gray was also a Senator for the National Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association, and was involved in establishing the All-Native Festival, which ran from 1964 to 1996. She was a recognized Elder for the University of Alberta's Native Studies program, and was a member of the Aboriginal Veteran's Society of Alberta and the Native Seniors Centre.
Two Joey Gladue Scholarships will be given out to two high school students each year, one to a male student and one to a female student. Students from across the province are eligible to apply. The society will be looking for applicants who are active in the community and are positive role models.
Two Delia Gray Scholarships will also be given out - to one male and one female applicant. The Delia Gray Scholarship will be given out to post-secondary students who either are single parents or who are children from single-parent families.
Each of the four scholarship recipients will receive $500.
The deadline for applications for the scholarships will be in September. The first scholarship recipients will be announced Nov. 15, 2001, during Metis Week celebrations.
To get more information about the scholarships, call the Edmonton Metis Cultural Dance Society at 780-451-1072. The society is also in the process of setting up scholarship information on its website at http://www.conboland/metisdance.