The third annual golf tournament hosted Thursday by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) raised more than $70,000 for post-secondary scholarships for Indigenous students.
The scholarships will be awarded to students from the 34 SCO-member communities in partnership with Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations people.
"The potential of our youth is limitless, and helping them achieve their educational dreams is one of the top priorities of our southern chiefs," stated Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in a news release.
"I am proud to partner with Indspire and with innovative institutions like MITT, Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College, to help create positive academic and socio-economic outcomes for our students."
Last year, the organization raised $45,000.
The Manitoba contingent of the Assembly of First Nations were the gold sponsors, while the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and Valard Construction were both silver sponsors. The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology sponsored the bronze level, while Vickar Automotive Group sponsored the hole-in-one.
More than three dozen First Nations, businesses, educational institutions, municipalities and other organizations participated, whether in play or as sponsors.
"Through education, we see a stronger future for our youth and our communities," Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Kevin Hart said.
"Education is the key to reconciliation and our youth will guide and build a stronger tomorrow."
Two students who have previously received a scholarship said that not having to worry about the financial aspect of school kept them focused on their studies.
A Pinaymootang First Nation student added: "Receiving the scholarship gives me the courage and motivation to continue doing well in my courses and degree. I am currently in the Faculty of Arts and aspire to go into social work. I hope that I can help a lot of people and their families. Thank you!"
» Michele LeTourneau covers Indigenous matters for The Brandon Sun under the Local Journalism Initiative, a federally funded program that supports the creation of original civic journalism.