The University of Winnipeg



Indigenous Languages student Cameron Adams named a McCall MacBain Scholar

A headshot photo of a smiling Cameron Adams

UWinnipeg’s Cameron Adams (BEd/BA’23) is one of 20 Canadian post-secondary students to be named a McCall MacBain Scholar this year.

For a third consecutive year, a University of Winnipeg student has been named a McCall MacBain Scholar.

The support I received through my educational journey gave me a great foundation to continue the work in this field with Indigenous communities.

Cameron Adams

Cameron Adams (BEd/BA’23) is one of 20 Canadian post-secondary students to receive the scholarship this year.

Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the McCall MacBain Scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program. The program is the result of a landmark $200 million gift by John and Marcy McCall MacBain in 2019.

Adams received the good news during his practicum placement, the day after returning home from final interviews in Montreal.

“This scholarship is life changing, making my dream of pursuing graduate studies a reality,” Adams said. “I have had the honour of being supported by a community, and know how important it is to be guided and also help others.”

Each scholar was chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.

“Cameron’s work in Indigenous language revitalization has been remarkable, and I have no doubt that he will continue to make significant contributions in this field,” said Dr. Todd Mondor, President and Vice-Chancellor. “As a member of the University’s Board of Regents, Cameron has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep commitment to making a positive impact in the UWinnipeg community. We are incredibly proud of his achievements and look forward to seeing what he will accomplish in the years ahead.”

Meet Cameron Adams

Originally from Gimli, Adams is completing his Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Languages and Bachelor of Education in History.

For three years, Adams worked with Elders and other community members to create the n-dialect language app, nēhinawēwin. He was inspired to create the app after taking first-year Cree courses at UWinnipeg. The new tool familiarizes users with Swampy Cree words and phrases. It’s based on the n-dialect of Swampy Cree, better known as nēhinawēwin or ininīmowin in Treaty 5 Territory in northern Manitoba.

“My time at The University of Winnipeg has been very fulfilling. I became involved in the UWinnipeg community day one and spent a significant portion of my time sharing my passion for Indigenous language revitalization,” he said. “The support I received through my educational journey gave me a great foundation to continue the work in this field with Indigenous communities.”

Cameron Adams holding a sign at a UWinnipeg Wesmen game.

Cameron Adams at a UWinnipeg Wesmen game.

Adams has also participated in six Habitat for Humanity home-building trips, volunteered with a community-based safety patrol, and contributed to University policy-making by serving on two committees. He has worked most summers and spent last summer learning Cree in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

As a McCall MacBain Scholar, Adams plans on pursuing the Ad Hoc Master of Arts program in Indigenous Language Revitalization.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the field of Indigenous language revitalization and how we can ensure future generations can learn their Indigenous languages in Canada,” Adams said. “Being a part of an amazing cohort with leadership opportunities will be very beneficial in preparing me for the future and challenges ahead.”

“Cameron’s selection is a tribute to the time and energy he has put into improving the lives of others,” said Natasha Sawh, Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships. “Our volunteers looked not only for academic strength, but for leadership qualities like integrity, kindness, grit, and an ability to motivate a team to address tough challenges.”

To recognize additional talent, the McCall MacBain Scholarships and McGill University also offered 96 entrance awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 each to top candidates who were not selected for the cohort. Altogether, this year’s 126 scholarships represent an estimated commitment of nearly $3.3 million in tuition and living costs alone, which will be complemented by mentorship and leadership development programming.

“I would encourage anyone to apply for the award that is involved in their community and wants to pursue a master’s degree,” Adams said. “Education opens doors and the sky is the limit. In nēhinawēwin, we say ‘āhkamēnimo,’ which means ‘stay the course/persevere!’”

Applications will open in June 2023 for September 2024 admission.