Policy Sectors

Nellie Makokis Carlson Commemorative Student Award

The Nellie Makokis Carlson Commemorative Student Award honours Indigenous activist, Nellie Makois Carlson, and all she has done for Indigenous rights. We celebrate her memory by awarding three hard-working mothers and/or primary caregivers working toward making a better future for their children.

Three successful applicants will be chosen, for an award of $1,000.00 each.



  • Applicants must be pursuing post-secondary studies (open to all fields of studies).
  • Award is intended for Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people, who are single parents.
  • Open to all age groups.
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

2021 Winners

Amelia Fox

Amelia Fox is a motivated Anishinaabe 2SLGBTQQAI+ youth advocate who takes initiative in program development, First Nation relationship building, and project management. She graduated from Lakehead University in June 2020, with two undergraduate degrees: Political Science and Psychology. She is currently enrolled at Smith School of Business, at Queen’s University, to obtain the Smith Graduate Diploma in Business. She is simultaneously coordinating programming as Founder and Lead Coordinator of Niizhaayek Alliance. Niizhaayek Alliance is a grassroots, youth organization, that aims to create safe spaces for 2SLGBTQQAI+ Indigenous youth in Ontario to reduce stigma and risks associated with being part of the 2SLGBTQQAI+ community.

Charisma Castle

Tansi, my name is Charisma Castel (she/her) and I am a Nihithiwew Iskwew, from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, located in Manitoba’s Treaty 6 Territory. As a first-generation student and single mother of two boys, I am honored to be a recipient of the Nellie Makokis Carlson Commemorative Student Award. Currently in my fourth year at the University of Manitoba, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. I plan on applying to medical school soon after graduation. My hope is to bridge the gap for First Nations People within the Western health care system, and improve Indigenous health and wellbeing through implementation of Traditional medicines and practices. As a parent-student, I understand how cumbersome juggling studies, while raising children, can be. With that said, I commend all mothers and caregivers out there putting in the hard work to obtain a higher education to better their lives. I remain deeply motivated by my children, continuously striving to show them, and other youth, that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. There is so much power in the ability to inspire Indigenous kin through leading by example. If we can do it as parents, so can anyone else! Ekosani

Lori Deets

Lori Deets is Mètis-Cree; born in Northern Saskatchewan. Being a Sixties Scoop survivor, and relocated to southern Saskatchewan, Lori now calls Moose Jaw home. Lori is a respected artist, leader, and activist in her community. She is the Chair of the Board of the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association, as well as leader of Our Home On Native Land, which is a local land back initiative of traditional territory, proposed to the city of Moose Jaw. Lori is a graduate of the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership from Coady Institute, in Antigonish, NS. She is now in her final year of her Indigenous Communications Arts Diploma, at First Nations University of Canada.