Meet Amelia the 2024 Ruth Shead Memorial

Scholarship Recipient!

We are thrilled to announce the winner of this year's Ruth Shead Memorial Scholarship, Amelia Crane Bear, pictured above. (Photo credit: Mary Big Bull Photography) . This scholarship, established in honor of co-owner Denise's Grandmother, helps support Indigenous and Métis youth in their educational pursuits. Amelia is pursuing a Bachelor of (Environmental) Science at Mount Royal University. Her dream is to help bring sustainability back to her nation and reconnect people to the land.

We asked Amelia, of Siksika Nation, a few questions so you can get to know her a little better:

1. Is there a specific quote or piece of wisdom that inspires you?

John Trudell was a native man from South Dakota born in the 1940s. He was an activist who also acted in many movies, and shared his ideas through his writing and spoken word performances. His words woke me up from a deep sleep that I was in. I would recommend listening to his album, DNA. There are so many quotes that impact me daily such as: '...Our relationship to reality is in that definition - human, bone, flesh and blood. DNA of the human is literally made up of metals, minerals and liquids of the earth. We are parts of the earth. We are shapes of the earth.' - John Trudell

Psst! If you're interested in hearing John Trudell's Decendant Now Ancestor (DNA) Album, this is the link! - Denise

2. What has been your proudest academic achievement so far?

My proudest academic achievement is getting on the Iniskim Centre Honour Roll three times during my time in the Indigenous University Bridging Program. I went through a lot of difficult circumstances during these semesters - like moving twice in two years, two close friends passing away, and my mother falling ill for three months. Despite this I never dropped a class or gave up. I will have (more) academic achievements to look forward to.

3. Who has had the greatest influence on your decision to pursue your career goals?

My grandpa and I have been close since I was born. I spent many weekends and summers at his house on our reserve. He taught me the ways of our people and our teachings which have guided me my entire life. There was a time when I strayed away from my family and lost my way. The only thing that brought me back was hearing the stories of my people. My grandpa has been the greatest influence on my decision to pursue my life goals because he has always shared stories of the land.

4. We were so inspired by something you said in your application about the earth: 'Our relationship with the Earth is a large part of who we are fundamentally and therefore it is an essential relationship that often gets neglected.' Can you elaborate a bit on what that means to you?

There are only 26 amino acids in the world that make up the protein chains that form DNA strands for all life and things. This means everything that makes up the water, rocks, dirt, plants also makes up our cells, muscles, blood, etcetera. Once you understand that we are physical extensions of spiritual beings in a spiritual universe, you realize that modern civilizations' approach to seeing the earth and ourselves is all wrong. Our toxic relationship with the earth, shown through the pollution in the air, ground, and water, is a reflection of our toxic relationship with ourselves as human beings. We need to see that connection first to truly make meaningful changes. When we are good to ourselves, we will also be good to the earth...

4. And just for fun, If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to read minds. I feel like this would allow me to hear the thoughts of those around me so I can then find the right words. My goal with this superpower would be to unite the population so we could work together as a people.

Amelia's passion for the environment and dedication to her cultural heritage are truly inspiring. We are confident that she will make significant contributions to her field and her community.

Congratulations, Amelia!

The Ruth Shead Memorial Scholarship is available to Indigenous, Metis and Inuit youth. The2025 intake takes place from March 1st - May 30th, 2025.