Congratulations to the 2017 recipients of the Osum Spark Award.
Ashley Guild, Bigstone Cree Nation
Ashley is currently taking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her degree, she intends to pursue a Doctor of Medicine. Ashley has spent her whole life giving back to her community – and her educational goals are no exception. She is motivated by the disparity of healthcare in her community, an issue that she is actively working to remedy. Before studying nursing, Ashley attended U of A and received her Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification. She brought what she learned back to her community, teaching a variety of fitness classes and also organizing community-building events. Ashley has travelled abroad volunteering with girls in Cartagena, Columbia, who were victims of abuse. She was also a Miss World Canada contestant, an opportunity which she greatly appreciated because of the organization’s strong focus on humanitarian issues.
Brooke Metchewais, Cold Lake First Nations
Brooke is a major sports buff. If it involves a team and a goal — she’s in. She spent her high school years playing hockey, volleyball, rugby, soccer, basketball, badminton, and that’s just the shortlist. It’s no wonder she’s chosen to pursue her passion with a degree in Sport Leadership at Camosun College. Brooke believes in the power of physical activity, healthy living and the difference it can make in someone’s life. After pursuing a graduate degree, she hopes to take her education and use it to help guide and enrich the lives of youth in her community. In addition to pursuing her education, Brooke also finds time to support elderly people through the James Bay Community project. Once a week she volunteers as an assistant to the elderly, taking her companions for walks, helping them with day-to-day tasks or simply having a visit.
Crystal Demmons, Elizabeth Métis Settlement
Crystal is currently studying criminal justice at Lethbridge College. Raised by two loving parents who were actively involved in the community, Crystal saw firsthand the power of giving back. Her whole life she has been involved in her community in some capacity, whether as a Little League Coach, School Board Member, or the Jamboree Committee. Crystal also worked with her community’s Restorative Justice program, which sparked her interest in Criminal Justice. She is passionate about finding ways for youth and first time offenders who have perpetrated crimes to repair the damage they’ve caused and rejoin their communities. After graduating in 2018 Crystal plans to return to Elizabeth Métis Settlement and put her education to work as an advocate for young offenders.
Natashi Janvier, Cold Lake First Nations
Natashi is currently enrolled as an Accounting Technician at Portage College. It’s an education she plans to pursue in the short term, and plans to pursue psychology shortly thereafter. Having seen in detail the impacts of trauma, Natashi wants to help others find the same strength and courage she has cultivated in her own life. An advocate for mental health, Natashi participated in her college’s Make Noise for Mental Health campaign. She is also a student ambassador.