The University of Winnipeg’s Chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (.caISES) has once again been recognized for their outstanding work in the community.
This was my time to meet other people who are in science, especially Indigenous science students, because we really didn’t have any sort of group like that at my high school.
UWinnipeg .caISES has been awarded the Chapter Development Award, which is given to a chapter that “ensures that upon graduation, their members are prepared to enter the workforce.” This follows the Chapter of the Year Award received in 2020.
President Cassidy Lamirande and Vice-President Gracie Grift say the honour is surreal.
“It’s nice to know we’re being recognized, because sometimes you’re not always sure how much the work you do means to people,” Lamirande, who’s majoring in neuroscience, said. “It also goes to show how much work we’ve put in (to the club).”
“I think the award shows how hard we’ve worked and the hours we’ve put in to sustain the group and develop it even more than it once was,” Grift added.
Lamirande learned about the chapter while studying white-nose syndrome in bats with Dr. Craig Willis in the Pathways to Graduate Studies program, while Grift learned about .caISES from Josh Swain, who is a McCall MacBain Scholar and former .caISES Vice-President, when he visited her first-year chemistry class.
Both have been involved ever since their introduction to the chapter.
“I’ve always been involved in extracurriculars,” Grift, who’s in her third year of biology studies, explained. “This was my time to meet other people who are in science, especially Indigenous science students, because we really didn’t have any sort of group like that at my high school.”
With the shift back to in-person learning at UWinnipeg for the 2022/23 academic year, .caISES has been able to expand their programming.
Lamirande and Grift say there are plans to hold a ribbon skirt making event, visit a sweat lodge, go on medicine walks, canoe in the summer, host high school students on campus, and visit high schools.
Advisor of the Year
Dr. Melanie Martin, Professor in the Department of Physics, was also named Advisor of the Year.
“Melanie Martin is always there to promote any new opportunities and events that are available for our members and strongly encourages us to participate in as many events as possible,” said the UWinnipeg Chapter of .caISES. “She is always there to share her advice, academic assistance, cultural exploration, career opportunities, and research endeavors. She is always available for the group and uses her knowledge and connections to help us students wherever and whenever possible.”