TORONTO—Amanda Peltier, an aboriginal student in the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Energy Systems Engineering program, who hails from Wikwemikong, was recently recognized as a 2013 GE Foundation Scholar-Leader. The program, sponsored by the GE Foundation and administered by the Institute of International Education, provides financial support and skills development opportunities for accomplished first-year undergraduate students of aboriginal descent who are pursuing degrees in the fields of engineering or business/management.
As a Scholar-Leader, Ms. Peltier will receive a $4,000 yearly scholarship for the second, third and fourth years of her undergraduate program. She will be mentored by a business leader at GE Canada and participate in community development projects. In August, Ms. Peltier also participated in a weeklong GE Leadership Development seminar in Mississaxuga.
“My growth as an affiliative, democratic and coaching leader in my community and chosen field will be considerably magnified by the impacts of this scholarship,” said Ms. Peltier in a press release. “Being a recognized aboriginal woman in the nuclear energy field will allow me to influence and provide mentorship to many individuals across Canada.”
Ms. Peltier is a member of the Anishinaabe First Nation from Manitoulin Island. Her mother’s family is from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve and her father’s family is from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation. When she moved almost nine hours away from close friends and family to attend university, Ms. Peltier sought and received support from UOIT’s Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC), which she credits with helping her remain balanced and successful. During the summer, Ms. Peltier worked at the ARC as an assistant and enjoyed the cultural connections and contributions she made to the community. She also assisted in providing programming for urban aboriginal youth in Durham Region. After completing her undergraduate program, Ms. Peltier plans to pursue graduate studies and obtain a doctoral degree.
“Amanda is a remarkable leader and role model for youth and mature students, and a strong example of the success of aboriginal people in post-secondary institutions,” said Laura Thibeault, manager, Aboriginal Services and Initiatives. “We know that once she graduates, Amanda will effect change and proudly support and represent aboriginal people within our communities. She is an inspiring and highly respected leader among her peers at UOIT and her journey has left a lasting impression on everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing her. We are so proud of Amanda and all she has accomplished during her time at UOIT.”