Governor General Mary Simon named Patron of The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation

18 Apr 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

COCHRANE, AB, April, 2023.  Governor General Mary Simon grants Viceregal Patronage to the Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation. Her Excellency and the Foundation  have a history of serving and supporting Indigenous Peoples in Canada and now look forward to  building this new relationship on their mission ahead. 

The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation works to address the under-representation of First  Nations, Métis and Inuit students at Canadian universities in pure and applied science,  engineering, and mathematics programs. VJKF provides scholarships to Indigenous high school  students to spend a week at a Canadian university, interacting and learning with professors and  their teams. The program develops motivated role models who foster the importance of  graduating high school and completing postsecondary education. 

“It’s an honour that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon has accepted to become a  Patron of the Foundation. Being Indigenous, she will provide considerable motivation to our students who view her as a role model of distinction. We look forward to supporting Her  Excellency with her ongoing priorities and work with Indigenous Peoples through our work at VJKF.” 

—Verna J. Kirkness 

The Governor General plays an important part in promoting Canadian identity and values, including diversity, inclusion, and culture. The Foundation’s work with Indigenous youth and education in the sciences aligns with Her Excellency’s priorities in reconciliation, youth and education, climate change, and protection of the natural world. VJKF continues to advance these priorities through its annual program at universities across Canada. 


The mission of the Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation is to increase the number of Indigenous students graduating from pure and applied science, engineering, and mathematics programs in Canada. 


Tyson MacGillivray, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors: 

DeDe DeRose, Board Secretary and Communications Committee Chair: Website: 


For a PDF of this release, click here.

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