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A second scholarship in memory of Joyce Echaquan awarded by UQAT, INRS and FRQ

August 19, 2022 | Julie Robert

Update : August 31, 2022

The new Joyce Echaquan scholarship recipient is from Mistissini and is interested in the role of Cree women in family healing and well-being.

Scholarship Joyce Echaquan

From left to right: Ioana Radu (UQAT), Carole Lévesque (INRS), Linda Shecapio (2022 Joyce Echaquan Award winner), Lucie Dubé (2021 Joyce Echaquan Award winner) and Suzy Basile (UQAT).

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)proudly awarded the second Joyce Echaquan Scholarship to Ms. Linda L. Shecapio from the Cree community of Mistissini. Ms. Shecapio is a student in the Customized Master’s Program in Indigenous Studies at UQAT and her research project is carried out under the supervision of Ioana Radu, professor at the School of Indigenous Studies, jointly supervised by Carole Lévesque, professor at the INRS and director of the DIALOG Network. 

Linda Shecapio

“I am honoured to have been selected for the Joyce Echaquan Scholarship. I am truly grateful for all my allyships and Indigenous fellows who are dedicated and determined to raise the bar a little higher every day to create positive and lasting impacts for us, and especially for our children and grandchildren, so that the next generations have something to build on to pursue their development.”

Created in 2021 with the support of Joyce Echaquan’s family, the scholarship is intended for an Indigenous master’s level student enrolled at UQAT or INRS. This initiative, which is supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist of Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, is now able to offer a second Joyce Echaquan Scholarship in the same amount and on the same terms as the first one.

A project addressing the role of Cree women

Linda L. Shecapio’s research project focuses on the recovery of the role of iiyiyiuu/iinuu iskweuch (Cree women) in family healing and well-being in Eeyou Istchee. Many women have taken the initiative to heal the wounds of colonisation, break the cycles of intergenerational trauma and provide solutions to the current socio-cultural challenges facing Cree communities. This research will allow for the development of a model of care that identifies and understands the traditional roles and responsibilities of Cree women in fostering balance among individuals for the healing and well-being of all. The subject also ties in with Joyce’s Principle that recognises and respects the traditional and living knowledge of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of health.

As an independent Aboriginal consultant and recently elected councillor for her Cree community of Mistissini, Ms. Shecapio has held a variety of positions during her career in coordinating local and regional events, as well as managing projects and programs in Eeyou Istchee. She was President of the Cree Women’s Association of Eeyou Istchee from 2016 to 2019.

Her current role as a consultant will allow her to influence the direction in which Indigenous people are heading to join forces to restore, renew and rebuild the understanding of decolonisation as individuals, families, communities and nations.