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September 22, 2009
For immediate release

Minister Bertram Launches a New Aboriginal Student Scholarship at UPEI

Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

The Honourable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, and H. Wade MacLauchlan, President of the University of Prince Edward Island, today launched the newly created John J. Sark Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship has been established by the Government of Prince Edward Island’s Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour in the name of distinguished Mi’kmaq Islander John James Sark. Sark, who earned a post-secondary education at St. Dunstan’s College, was the Island’s first Mi’kmaq teacher. Sark was also recognized by the Mi’kmaq community in 1981 when the Lennox Island Elementary School was named in his honour, the John J. Sark Memorial School.

“This program is designed to recognize the aboriginal community and offer financial assistance to aboriginal students attending UPEI,” said Minister Bertram. “Through this program, the Government is providing aboriginal students with a valuable tool to facilitate their pursuit of post-secondary education.”

These scholarships will be awarded to aboriginal students enrolled in a full-time undergraduate studies program at the University of Prince Edward Island. Three scholarships, each in the amount of $1,000, will be available, starting this fall.

One scholarship will be provided to a first-year aboriginal student entering a full- time program at UPEI. Two scholarships will be presented to returning full-time aboriginal students at UPEI. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need, as well as their contribution to their First Nations, Inuit or Métis community, a commitment to their field of study, and a strong academic performance.

“UPEI is proud to have these scholarships established in honour of John J. Sark, a pioneering PEI Mi’kmaq student who graduated from St. Dunstan’s College 100 years ago,” said UPEI President H. Wade MacLauchlan. “And we will be just as proud of the three deserving students, from among our growing aboriginal student body at UPEI, who will receive these scholarships each year.”

Scholarship application forms are available at, UPEI Student Services and through the Mawi’omi Aboriginal Student Centre at UPEI. Applications must be submitted to UPEI Student Services for review no later than October 31, 2009.

Media Contact: Autumn Tremere
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