Sources of Knowledge Student Bursary for National Park Studies and Protected Areas

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Submitted by Daryl W. Cowell, Chair, Sources of Knowledge Board

Sources of Knowledge (SoK) is known for organizing and holding an annual Forum in North Bruce covering environmental/cultural/heritage themes. However, many don’t realize that SoK also administers an annual bursary award program on behalf of Parks Canada. 

Each year we seek secondary school students with an interest in the environment and outdoors who also plan to pursue post-secondary studies in the area of conservation and related themes to apply for an award of up to $1,000.00 from the bursary. We manage $4,000.00 in total bursary funds provided each year by Parks Canada.

The purpose of the award is:

1) To provide financial support to qualifying secondary students for post-secondary study in fields related to the environment or conservation or other field related to a prospective career with Parks Canada.

2) Thereby, to assist Parks Canada in meeting its obligation for local employment under clauses 15 and 16 of Appendix A of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to Establish a National Park and a National Marine Park in the Township of St. Edmunds dated July 20, 1987. 

3) To further the stated goal of the Sources of Knowledge Forum to “encourage and enable youth to be stewards of this remarkable place.”

To be eligible, candidates must be “local” meaning from the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula or a member of the Saugeen Ojibway Nations. They must have a good academic standing and demonstrate an interest in a career in conservation or a related field. Their applications must include a 500 word essay outlining their interests, a summary of past activities related to the environment and outdoors, and have a demonstrated involvement in community service. The application must also include an academic and community reference and proof of acceptance at a post-secondary school institution including program of study.

The current year saw the largest ever response to the bursary program with a total of 10 applicants. The selection committee had a difficult task but went forward with 7 candidates who received between $500.00 and $750.00 each for a total of $4,250.00 in bursary funding. SoK is very pleased to see such interest within our communities and, along with Parks Canada, are happy to assist these students in their future studies. 

The following students are the 2020 SoK Bursary award winners :

• Sasha Cognigni – University of Guelph/Animal Biology;

• Avery Hutchinson – King’s College, Western University/Arts and Humanities;

• Keyanna Kimewon – Fleming College/Fish and Wildlife Conservation;

•Caleb Marcella – University of Guelph/Mechanical and Environmental Engineering;

•Zachary Rodgers – Carleton University/Industrial Design;

•Kylee Smith – University of British Columbia/Environmental Engineering; and

•Malackee Solomon – Algonquin College/Pathways to Indigenous Empowerment.

Congratulations to all these students – we are pleased to see such great academic achievement in our communities. The three candidates not awarded a bursary also demonstrated a high academic achievement but were not as strong in the stated fields of study. All successful candidates are entering their first year of post-secondary education and all will be eligible to apply next year along with upcoming grade 12 students.

SoK is a registered charity and accepts donations for our Student Bursary Program. Please visit www.sourcesofknowledge.ca to donate or you can e-transfer to info@sourcesofknowledge.ca.