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Partnership relaunches scholarships honouring Helen Betty Osborne


Three organizations are working together to relaunch dozens of scholarships honouring the late Helen Betty Osborne.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will lead the project, with support from The Winnipeg Foundation. The partnership will re-activate the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Awards for Indigenous students. 

“Our government is proud to be part of scholarships for Indigenous students that honour the memory of Helen Betty Osborne. Relaunching these scholarships is an incredible opportunity for Indigenous post-secondary students in Manitoba and has only been possible with the support of NRTC and ICC,” Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko said.

Representatives from NCTR and the ICC will lead the scholarship awards selection committee. The Winnipeg Foundation manages hundreds of scholarship funds – each with unique criteria.

“We are honoured to be part of this opportunity to support Indigenous students and to honour Helen Betty Osborne, whose life was cut tragically short,” said Stephanie Scott, Executive Director of the NCTR. “Residential school survivors have always stressed the importance of the future generations and ensuring that youth have what they need, spiritually and mentally, to succeed. We depend on our youth to be our future leaders and these scholarships are important opportunities to build that leadership.”

“The Indigenous Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of investing in, and supporting, First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth education,” said Jamie Dumont, Chair of the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. “It is through education that we build our future leaders, and we are honoured to be part of the relaunch of the Helen Betty Osborne memorial awards.” 

The process will be launched later this year, when the application portal opens on Nov. 13, 2021, which marks the 50th anniversary of Helen Betty Osborne’s tragic death. Thirty, $2,500 awards will be allocated from the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Fund to Indigenous students. Details of award requirements and how to apply will be available on the website

“The Foundation is pleased to support the NCTR and ICC to relaunch this awards program. Support for Indigenous students through scholarships is another important step on our journey of reconciliation,” said Sky Bridges, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation. 

Helen Betty Osborne was a high school student attending Manitoba Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) and was on the home placement program administered by Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) when she was brutally murdered in northern Manitoba in 1971. It took 16 years for anyone to be charged with her murder. The scholarship fund was established to honour her memory and provide financial support to Indigenous students. 

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“Ka-kí-kiskéyihtétan óma, namoya kinwés maka aciyowés pohko óma óta ka-hayayak wasétam askihk, ékwa ka-kakwéy miskétan kiskéyihtamowin, iyinísiwin, kistéyitowin, mina nánisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, ékosi óma kakiya ka-wahkotowak.”

Cree Proverb