National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation

September 06, 2007 09:57 ET

New George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship Award to Help NWT Youth

New George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship Award to Help NWT First Nations Students

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2007) - Roberta Jamieson, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation's President & CEO, announced today the establishment of the George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship Award. She was joined at the announcement by Fiona Blondin-Fiorini, who co-founded the scholarship in honour of her grandfather George Blondin. "We are delighted the Foundation has been selected to administer such a worthy and timely scholarship, one that supports the needs and promise of northern Aboriginal youth," said NAAF CEO Roberta Jamieson. "Fiona Blondin-Fiorini and Joseph Fiorini's generosity in creating this much needed scholarship is to be commended. They exemplify the qualities of truly visionary givers, people who see an unmet need and act. I invite individuals, corporations, and government bodies to join them in supporting the George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship by contributing to its growth over time." The scholarship was established to honour the esteemed George Blondin, currently residing in Behchoko, a Dene Elder, born in 1922 in the Northwest Territories. He has been a wilderness guide, miner, trapper, vice president of the Dene Nation, and in 1989, was elected Chairman of the Denedeh Elder's Council. He works with the Dene Cultural Institute and writes a column for the News/North. In 1990, Mr. Blondin was the recipient of the annual Ross Charles Award for Native Journalism. He is the author of When the World was New, Yamoria the Lawmaker and Trail of the Spirit. Blondin was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003. George continues to write for News North, and to inspire the next generation of northern achievers."I believe my grandfather is an innovator. Even though he didn't finish public school, he has written three books, helped share our stories and teachings with all people. He continues to write a news column to this day, providing inspiration for the next generation, just as he did for me," said Ms. Blondin-Fiorini. "There is no doubt that the First Nations youth of the North have the skills and abilities to achieve their dreams, just like my grandfather. They too can become leaders in their fields of study and apply their knowledge to the benefit of their Nation. Our people are the untapped potential of the North and its greatest resource. It is my hope that this scholarship will help to unlock this potential by facilitating greater access to quality education."Ms. Jamieson's announcement coincided with the announcement of the first recipient of the George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship Award, Ouri Scott, from Behchoko and of the Tticho' First Nation. She received the initial award of $2,400. She is entering her third year of the five year Master of Architecture program at the University of British Columbia.The scholarship's initial funding of $25,000 was made possible by a contribution from Ms. Blondin-Fiorini and her husband, Joseph Fiorini. Additional contributions are encouraged and can be made by individuals, companies, and governments. Contributions will be used to grow the Trust and to provide greater ongoing financial assistance to the First Nations youth of the Northwest Territories. All contributions made to the Trust will be administered by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. The George Blondin Aboriginal Scholarship Award is a bi-annual scholarship to be awarded to a Status Indian originating from the Northwest Territories who is enrolled, or who will be enrolled, in a post-secondary education program (college or university) across all disciplines and degrees.The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages and empowers young Aboriginal people to advance their educational and career aspirations. It supports hundreds of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students each year with various kinds of scholarships. The Foundation also recognizes and celebrates the outstanding contributions of 14 men and women through the annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, a dazzling showcase of Aboriginal entertainment that is broadcast nationally on Global Television and APTN. NAAF also organizes career fairs for Aboriginal high school students. The Foundation invites governments, companies, organizations and individuals to join the current sponsors who generously support the scholarship program: CIBC Achievers Aboriginal Veterans Scholarship Trust, BP Canada Aboriginal Youth Achievers Scholarship, CN Aboriginal Scholarship Program, DeBeers, Desser Music Scholarship, The Diana Fowler LeBlanc Aboriginal Social Work Scholarship, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. Aboriginal Scholarships, EDS, EnCana Corporation Scholarships for Aboriginal Students, Government of Canada Endowment Fund, Health Canada's Aboriginal Health Careers Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Scholars, Hydro One Aboriginal Scholarships, IBM Canada Ltd., Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Investors Group Manitoba Awards, Learning Matters Education Charity, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Scholars, Ontario Aboriginal Partnerships Recognition Scholarship, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centers, Petro-Canada Aboriginal Education Awards, Royal Bank - Beth Hamilton Bell Trust Funds, Shell Canada Aboriginal Scholarship Program, Suncor Energy Foundation "Shared Achievements" Aboriginal Scholarships, Talisman Energy Aboriginal Scholarships, TD Bank Financial Group Scholarships, Western Lakota Energy Services Inc. Aboriginal Economic Development Scholarships Lead corporate sponsor: CIBCAir Canada - Official Airline of the National Aboriginal Achievement AwardsAPTN, BP Canada Energy Company, Enbridge, Encana, Global, Greyhound, Nabors Canada, Nexen Inc., Shell Canada Ltd.Suncor Energy Foundation, SyncrudePublic Sector: Government of Canada:Aboriginal Business Canada, Canadian Forces, Canadian Heritage, CMHC, Elections Canada, Environment Canada, Federal Interlocutor (PCO), Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Justice Canada /For further information: Scott Cavan, Dir. Communications
416.926.0775 ext: 237

Contact Information

  • Scott Cavan, Director of Communications, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
    Primary Phone: 416-926-0775 ext. 237
    Secondary Phone: 416-903-4331
    Toll-Free: 800-329-9780