2022 graduate Annie Martel receives national award from RBC
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University alumna Annie Martel is a 2022 recipient of a RBC Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth Award.
Martel, who is from St-Pierre-Jolys, a small Métis community in Manitoba, graduated from Mount Allison this spring with an honours degree in environmental studies. She will be continuing her studies this fall at the University of Winnipeg where she will be completing a master’s degree in Environmental and Social Change.
“I was very excited to hear I had been selected for an award from RBC,” says Martel. “It’s a relief to have this kind of financial support for my education as well. I’m looking forward to continuing my studies and for future opportunities to connect with fellow award recipients. I also want to thank RBC for this support.”
At Mount Allison Martel was involved in several initiatives both in and outside the classroom. She held a Bell Scholarship, one of the University’s top entrance awards throughout her degree and received the departmental prize for Environmental Studies this year. Martel also volunteered with the Mount Allison chapter of WUSC (World University Services Canada) and the Indigenous Student Support Group on campus. She says while she enjoyed her time at Mount Allison, she is pleased to be studying near her home community.
“I do not think I realized how much of a mark my community left on me until I left home. In the other schools that I have attended outside of my community I was often the only Métis student. I felt very isolated and alone,” says Martel. “When I am home, I feel a sense of relief being amongst the people from my community.”
Martel plans to pursue a career around the environment with a focus on climate adaptation and climate mitigation strategies for various Indigenous communities in Manitoba.
“One of the specific areas I am interested in is food sovereignty and Traditional Ecological Knowledge,” she says. “I am also interested in utilizing both Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science through a Two-Eyed Seeing perspective to combat the ongoing threat of the climate crisis, and specifically advocating for Indigenous sovereignty in climate change decisions.”
The RBC Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth awards 20 scholarships annually, each valued at up to $10,000 per year for up to four years, to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada who demonstrate strong academic performances and community involvement.