UWinnipeg’s 2015 Duff Roblin Scholars
The Honourable Duff Roblin (1917-2010), former Premier of Manitoba, was a lifelong advocate for advanced education in Manitoba. More than 35 students have received fellowships which support Indigenous scholarship through the Duff Roblin Scholars Fund to date.
Born and raised in northern Manitoba, Vanessa Tait is proud of her roots as a Cree woman from O-pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation, also known as South Indian Lake, Manitoba.
Vanessa is currently obtaining her Master’s in Development Practice: Indigenous Development degree at The University of Winnipeg. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree majoring in Aboriginal Business Studies from the University of Manitoba (2012) and has also completed the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia (2011). In 2014, Vanessa achieved the designation of Certified Technician Aboriginal Economic Developer (TAED).
Vanessa participates actively in knowledge exchange and has attended and presented at numerous conferences. She is a community leader, as demonstrated by her involvement as Co-Founder and Secretary for Manitoba Moon Voices Inc., a non-profit Indigenous women’s organization. She has also served on the Board of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers.
Justin Johnson is Red River Métis and the great-great-great grandson of André Beauchemin, member of Louis Riel’s provisional government. In October 2014, he graduated from The University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. In January 2015, Justin joined The University of Winnipeg’s Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance program with the aim to discover and develop Métis political philosophy based on Louis Riel’s writings.
Over the years, Justin has dedicated himself to his community—whether it be locally, provincially, or nationally—as the president of the Conseil jeunesse provincial (CJP), vice-president of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française (FJCF), member of the Union nationale métisse St. Joseph du Manitoba (UNMSJM), and director of the Directing Committee for the États généraux de la francophonie manitobaine of the Société franco-manitobaine. In these circles, he continues to apply, practice, and encourage principles of Red River Métis governance.