Loretta Saunders Community Scholarship Fund

July 30, 2023

A scholarship fund to support indigenous women in their chosen field of study

Loretta Saunders was an Inuk woman attending Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and just months away from completing an honours degree in Criminology when she was brutally murdered in February 2014. Despite the many obstacles she faced in her life, Loretta excelled during her studies, including in her thesis work on three cases of missing and/or murdered indigenous women in Mi’kma’ki. In her work, Loretta spoke passionately about her research into the continued impacts of colonialism on indigenous women like her. Here is an excerpt from her thesis proposal:

“My story isn’t unique, thousands of girls are exposed to the exact same experiences that I couldn’t even fathom wishing upon another human being, yet our very own government is responsible for orchestrating the events and developing the policies and practices that led to the marginalization of generations of my people … I now know that many of my past experiences are a part of a vicious cycle that has been passed down through generations. This can no longer be accepted by our women and girls. It is through this project … that I aspire to educate and enlighten others to the devastating intergenerational impacts that colonization has created for us, as well as provide hope and inspiration that change is possible.”

Loretta became a passionate advocate for an end to violence against indigenous women and girls and an outspoken advocate for a just reconciliation between indigenous peoples and settlers. This fund was established to honour Loretta’s passion about justice for indigenous peoples and her dedication to her university studies.

Awards can range from $500 to $2,000.

How to Apply

Indigenous women from Mi’kma’ki, Nunatsiavut, or Atlantic Canada who are attending a post-secondary institution in Canada and who have completed the equivalent of one year of post-secondary education in the previous two years are invited to apply.

Please have prepared:

  • A two-page, double-spaced statement outlining your educational achievements, career plans, and service to Indigenous communities
  • Details of your volunteer involvement
  • Proof of status, non-status, Inuit, or Métis
  • Two reference letters
  • Proof of registration at a post-secondary institution
  • Your most recent transcript
  • An explanation of why you are eligible for this award
  • A story about an experience in your life that was important to you
  • An explanation of your financial need

Applications are accepted online.

Applicants will be adjudicated upon the basis of their scholastic achievement, service to Indigenous communities, community potential, and financial need.