The University of Winnipeg



Indigenous Studies celebrates Dean’s Honour List students

Seven Dean's Honour List students gather for a group portrait.

From left: Netanis Neepin, Jenny Foidart, Sarah Emms, Angela Pritchard, Emily Isaac, Ryan Fleming, and Kendra Stuart at the Indigenous Studies Dean’s Honour List luncheon on February 20. Not pictured: Verla Boyd, Shandy Blackbird, Dominique Carriere, Tatyana Handel, Nicole Murdock, Dayna Park, and Chloe Sanderson.

The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Indigenous Studies is recognizing 14 students whose academic achievements have landed them on this year’s prestigious Dean’s Honour List.

The Dean’s Honour List recognizes students whose combined sessional GPA is 3.55 or higher after completing at least 18 credit hours in the previous two semesters.

It’s an indescribable feeling to question one’s potential and then find the confidence to rise above it.

Netanis Neepin

The 14 Indigenous Studies students were honoured at a February 20 lunch in the Aabijijiwan New Media Lab. In attendance to celebrate the students’ achievements were Dr. Pavlina Radia, Provost and Vice-President, Academic; Elders David Daniels and Audrey Logan; and Indigenous Studies faculty members and staff.

“Indigenous Studies is very delighted to kickstart a new tradition by celebrating the excellent academic achievements of IS major students,” said Dr. Shailesh Shukla, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Indigenous Studies. “This year’s list of 14 students, most of them Indigenous, are our shining bright stars, who have beaten all odds in their personal and professional journey. Indigenous Studies is very proud to be part of their academic success and hopes that they will always cherish the collegial environment and the unique educational experiences as they take the next steps of their life journey.”

Netanis Neepin, whose Ininew name is Nikan Aki Ikwew, which means Leading Earth Woman, is among the Dean’s List honorees. Neepin moved over 1,000 kilometres from her home community of Fox Lake Cree Nation to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Political Science and Indigenous Studies.

“Though it was a tough decision, it was the best I have ever made,” she said. “My academic journey was full of obstacles, but I never gave up. As a mother, I found immense motivation to keep going; my family has been my pillar of support.”

Neepin’s research primarily focuses on Canadian law, particularly Indigenous law.

“I want to expand my knowledge of the Canadian legal system, policies, and government,” she said.

The 2024 graduate has been named to the Dean’s Honour list every year of her undergraduate studies. She said making this year’s list was “a dream come true.”

“It’s an indescribable feeling to question one’s potential and then find the confidence to rise above it,” she said. “However, making the Honour List is just a bonus. It’s much more meaningful than that. Completing my undergraduate degree has opened up a path for the next generation of my family to follow. I am the first person in my family to receive a university degree, and that is a source of pride for me and my loved ones.”

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