Muskeg Lake woman earns full scholarship to Stanford University
- EFN Staff | September 30, 2018
A woman from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation trekked out to the United States to study at a prestigious institution to pursue a PhD degree. After applying and receiving a couple offers at the University of Toronto and Harvard University, Jarita Greyeyes happily accepted an offer to study at California’s Stanford University – ranked as one of the world’s top universities.
“It seems like a great place to learn,” she said. “I think that commitment of excellence is here at Stanford. I was really excited to bring my perspectives and experiences to an institution that has less than 1% of doctoral students who identify as Indigenous. I think it’s going to be a little bit lonely and I’m super far from home but I’m excited to grow, learn and challenge myself to do the work that I want to do at a high level.”
Greyeyes is pursuing a doctorate degree in Race, Inequality and Language in Education within the Graduate School of Education. Her particular focus of study will be based on women contributions to Indigenizing post-secondary institutions and she believes in terms of Canadian universities, there’s a lot the U.S system can learn about Indigenizing from the experiences in Canada.
“I’m excited to share those,” she said. “In the U.S, Indigenization…has been shown in a different way so I’m looking forward to learn more about that.”
In her educational background, she received a Master’s of Arts in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria and took a break afterwards to work in her home community of Muskeg Lake, the United Way of Saskatoon. Throughout her work period, she pondered the idea on how to Indigenize work places and was curious to what people’s reflections were on Indigenization which led her to apply to the various graduate programs.
She hopes her path will inspire others to not be afraid to challenge yourself to a higher education at prestigious institutions in Canada, in the U.S. and across the world.
“Apply to a bunch of different programs even though it’s kind of expensive to do the applications but you want to make sure at wherever you decide to go is the right fit for you. It’s important that you have options to choose from,” she added. “People of Saskatchewan have a lot to offer the world, I know people from our communities have so much knowledge. When we head into classrooms, we make those classrooms better by our presence. I think that it’s important to choose education that I think will be [beneficial] so that training will help our communities in the long run.”
Although Greyeyes was denied funding from her band, she didn’t allow that to become a barrier in her pursue for education. From all her hard work in her previous education, she was granted a five-year full scholarship from the Stanford University.