The University of Winnipeg



2024 Louis Riel Bursaries help support Métis students

Meet some of the talented Métis students

Dominique Consuelo Carriere, Melissa Doucette, and Lisa Marie Baker are recipients of the Louis Riel Bursary for the 2023-24 academic year.

The University of Winnipeg is proud to celebrate the achievements of the 110 Métis students who were awarded Louis Riel Bursaries during the 2023-24 academic year. The bursaries are valued between $1,400 and $2,500.

Since 1999, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) and its educational arm, the Louis Riel Institute (LRI), through funding from Employment and Social Development Canada, have provided millions of dollars in bursaries to Métis students attending UWinnipeg.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of the recipients of the Louis Riel Bursary,” said Dr. Chantal Fiola, Interim Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Engagement. “It’s a joy to cheer you on in your learning journey! Maarsii to the Manitoba Métis Federation for continuing to support Métis citizens pursuing their post-secondary education at the University of Winnipeg.”

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of the recipients of the Louis Riel Bursary.

Dr. Chantal Fiola

Approximately 10 per cent of UWinnipeg students self-identify as Indigenous, and half of those students are Métis — among the highest participation rates across Canada.

Lisa Marie Baker – Education

Naturally inquisitive, and a mother of three, Lisa Marie Baker is a Métis woman and an educator in the UWinnipeg Community-Based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (CATEP). She already holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and has a keen interest in biochemistry, environmental science, and sustainability/stewardship.

Following in the footsteps of her grandmothers, Baker is an educator who is certain in what she wants to achieve. She has developed a holistic Indigenized pedagogical framework that reflects and respects where learning emerges, how learning occurs, and what learning honours.

“I believe that education is quintessential to Reconciliation, which is so desperately needed not only to reestablish and maintain respectful relationships with our Indigenous Peoples, but to also interrupt and dismantle the rampant effects of deficit ideology and stereotype threat, that plague the minds of so many,” said Baker. 

Baker wants to establish a supportive and caring teacher-student and student-peer relationships, where all learners in the learning community care for one another with an ardent commitment towards a teacher’s responsibility for student wellness.

“I am also very passionate about Indigenous Studies and land-based education and look forward to incorporating these elements into my future classroom,” said Baker. “I hope to make positive changes regarding student attitudes and perspectives of Indigenous education, and women in careers involving science and mathematics.”

Baker acknowledges that the Louis Riel Bursary helped lay the foundation for her academic success. “As a student who has struggled financially while maintaining an excellent academic record, it is very rewarding to be recognized for my achievements and the sacrifices made in order to be successful academically.” 

Dominique Consuelo Carriere – Indigenous Studies and International Development Studies

Dominique Consuelo Carriere is in her last year of her Bachelor of Arts, double major in Indigenous Studies and International Development Studies. Thanks to the Louis Riel Bursary, she is fully immersed in her studies without feeling financial strain.

Carriere first started at UWinnipeg in the field of international development. “This field has taught me a great deal about how world structures function; it also made me realize that I truly want to focus my studies on ways I could support my local communities,” she said.

This led her to choose Indigenous Studies as a way to learn more about her Nation and other Indigenous Peoples. It also shed light on a path to engage and participate in helping strengthen her people.

“I have learned ways in which I could use my privileges, my gifts, and my passions to continue supporting my various communities, including my Michif one,” shared Carriere. 

Her class, taught by Dr. Fiola, inspired Carriere to be proud of her history and identity. “This felt extra special as it was taught by a Métis person and I was able to deeply connect to her personal journey through the class material and her teachings.”

Inspired by her communities, her culture, the rivers, and the land, Carriere hopes to work with non-profit/grassroots community organizations with a focus on Métis wellbeing and cultural support to connect people with art and land-based learning. 

Carriere also sees the bursary as a way her people are supporting her and she also recognizes UWinnipeg. “UWinnipeg has been great with lots of support, and opportunities for classes like Dr. Fiola’s Métis Identity class that inspire me.”

Melissa Doucette – Early Childhood Education

Melissa Doucette is a single mother of two girls and is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education. She already has a diploma in the same field. 

When she is not at school, Doucette runs her own home day care and bartends a few times a week to help pay for school.

“I feel very fortunate to have received the Louis Riel Bursary, as it has taken some of the financial stress off of me,” said Doucette. 

She decided to peruse a degree in developmental studies after being in the field for two decades. Although she was overwhelmed at the idea of returning to school after 25 years, she realized it’s never too late, and is enjoying her UWinnipeg experience.

This September, Doucette plans to close the day care to focus on school full time for her last year. After graduation, she aspires to be an instructor and teach in the early childhood education program.

“I have so much experience and I feel I have lots to give to the next generation coming into the field,” said Doucette.

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