CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA) / CFUW 100th Anniversary Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA) for Ph.D. Study – National Winner 2019-2020

2020 – 2021

Value Range: $10,000 – $25,000 (Renewable)

\"2019-2020In March 2015, the Education Council-Wolfville transferred the proceeds of their education fund to the CFUW Charitable Trust to establish a new award, the CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA).

This award was designed to honour Dr. Marion Elder Grant’s life-long commitment to education of women. Dr. Grant has an outstanding record of leadership as the 11th CFUW President (1949-52), CFUW Wolfville President, and Dean of Women and Professor of Psychology, Acadia University.

An applicant for the CFUW AWA will be considered eligible on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Canadian Aboriginal woman;
  • Study in Canada;
  • Holds or will hold an undergraduate university degree or equivalent before the CFUW AWA for which she applied is granted; and
  • Must have applied to be a full-time student in any year of an eligible program at a recognized or accredited Canadian post-secondary degree-granting institution.

Eligible programs: are the academic programs for which a CFUW AWA Applicant may be studying. They include:

  1. Programs leading to a first degree in law – Bachelor of Laws (LLB); Juris Doctor (JD).
  2. Programs leading to the following first degrees in medicine – Medical Doctor (MD); Doctor of Optometry (OD).
  3. Programs leading to qualifying for a licence to practice as a Nurse Practitioner in the province or territory of the graduate’s choice.
  4. Programs leading to a Master’s degree in fields dealing with important Canadian aboriginal issues at the time the AWA is given as defined by the most recent Canadian report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

2019-2020 Winners: 

NICOLE FERLAND – CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA)

LEAH CARRIER –  CFUW 100th Anniversary Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA) for Ph.D. Study – National Winner 2019-2020


  • B.A. Human Rights, 2011, University of Winnipeg
  • Master of Education, Indigenous Land-Based Education, 2018-2020, University of Saskatchewan

In collaboration with the Manitoba Métis Federation, the Louis Riel Institute, and Métis knowledge-holders and families, Nicole will develop and deliver a community-centered urban Métis land-based education experience, and explore the question, How can urban land-based education deepen Red River Métis families’ understanding of and connection to their culture, identity, and history?

The project will produce a Métis-specific urban land-based education curriculum for use in Winnipeg and a model for developing land-based curriculum that can be adapted for use in other locations. It will also contribute to the growing field of Métis-specific research methodologies and to literature relating to historic and contemporary Métis land education practices.

CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA) Winner



  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), 2010, Saint Francis Xavier University
  • B.Sc. Nursing (with distinction), 2018, Dalhousie University
  • M.Sc. Nursing, 2018-2019, Dalhousie University
  • Ph.D. Nursing, 2019-2023, Dalhousie University

Although children and families identify pain as a key concern during health care encounters, there is a continued lack of optimal pain treatment among the pediatric population. Parental involvement in care is a potential solution to this problem, but little is known about how health professionals engage families from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds in this context.

Leah’s research seeks to understand the barriers and facilitators to parental involvement in their child’s pain care, with the goal of improving therapeutic relationships between health professionals and diverse families in the pediatric healthcare setting. She is also a research coordinator for the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative, which conducts community-based research related to the pain and mental health experiences of Indigenous children and youth.

CFUW 100th Anniversary Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA) for Ph.D. Study – National Winner 2019-2020