Western Geography PhD students Steven Vanloffeld and Vanessa Ambtman-Smith stand among only 20 individuals nationwide to be named Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholars, a doctoral scholarship program focused on the social sciences and humanities.
“Our scholarship program is a gateway for courageous, bold, original thinkers who seek unconventional experiences beyond the halls of academia. Our scholars are hungry to play a leadership role in their communities and help inspire positive change,” Pascale Fournier, President and CEO of the Trudeau Foundation, said in making the announcement.
Scholars were chosen for their work within four themes: Human rights and dignity; responsible citizenship; Canada and the world; people and their natural environments.
Vanloffeld explores how Indigenous Peoples have been systematically marginalized from decision-making related to land development and resource allocation in their own territories, and how that voice can return to the table.
Ambtman-Smith studies ways to re-design systems to enable access to culturally safe care and advance models of care that go beyond the traditional view of health care, focused on the effectiveness of Indigenous traditional healing spaces within hospitals.
Trudeau Foundation Scholars receive $60,000 bursaries annually, for three years, to subsidize tuition fees and living expenses and allow the students to travel for research and scholarly networking and knowledge dissemination.