Program Description

Testing at UBC – credit Jody Jacob

The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program addresses the under-representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students at Canadian universities. One of the factors contributing to this is the lack of academic role models for these students.  The Foundation addresses this by offering scholarships to Indigenous grade 11 students to spend a week at a Canadian university interacting with scientists in their research laboratories. During their week on campus the students have the opportunity to meet role models, learn about the support systems that are available to them on campus and experience the excitement of doing research.

Click here to view the 2019 Program booklet. [pdf]

Interviews from the 2015 Program at the University of Manitoba

Interviews with Students and Mentors

Quotes from participating students:

“Yes, my university choice will be influenced. I am now pumped about going to university and that will speed up my career path.”
Jesse – Rivers, Manitoba

“Yes, the program has influenced my educational path. I am now considering universities here and will probably take a path in science and nutrition.”   “ This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am honoured to have participated in it. Makes me feel special – and the interviews, with all the TV people, were awesome!”
Dana – Arviat, Nunavut

“I now know I wouldn’t want to work in a lab but I am still interested in the sciences. I am very capable of graduating and going to post-secondary school. It will be hard but I can do it. I loved this program and it was a great opportunity. I would do it again if I could.”
Trina – Baker Lake, Nunavut

“This was a really good week for me. Definitely a lot of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
Savannah – St. Teresa Point, Manitoba

“I now have more options to become what I want to become in life.”
Harley – St. Teresa Point, Manitoba

“I have learned more in a few hours than I have in 4 years in high school science.”
Derek – Cranberry Portage, Manitoba

“There is constantly something to learn, something new in science and you can help people in many ways with science, and even yourself.”
Georgina – Norway House, Manitoba

Student Work Samples

Presentation on working in the Kinesiology Department
Kirkness presentation – Amanda Kocis-Lehman

Presentation on working in the Science Department
Kirkness presentation – Taneisha Dumas

Webpage on working in the  Entomology Department
Brandy Bird and Austin McPherson’s Insect webpage

Video on Water Quality Research

Poster on Soil and Water Research

Click for a larger view.