Promoting education and empowerment

Literacy, Education & Employment

How one scholarship can affect an entire community.

Residents in Northern Manitoba are documenting history on their own terms thanks to the work of Erin Yaremko. The second-year Master’s of History student recently returned from an excursion to O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, 1,072 km north of Winnipeg. It’s just one of many trips she’ll take as she works in partnership with northern Indigenous communities to create accessible archives.

“The Northern Community Archive Project partners with northern Indigenous communities in the repatriation and reclamation of information and documents pertaining to their community’s history so that community members, teachers and families can work to… educate and empower current and future generations,” Ms. Yaremko says.

“Academics have for too long simply studied groups and moved on, without assisting the groups they work with in some way other than providing a paper. I wanted there to be somewhere I could leave everything and anything I used towards my research so community members could use the documents.”

Ms. Yaremko was able to fund her northern project after receiving the Graduate Award in Canadian History, which is available to students studying Canadian history or history of Indigenous peoples in the joint program offered by the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg. The award was established by The Winnipeg Foundation.

“Without funding like this, I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I’m doing,” Ms. Yaremko says. “The Winnipeg Foundation and the amazing awards and grants they give, really assist communities and students like me, to further these projects and initiatives… We really have only brushed the top of history, we have so much history to still create.”

Ms. Yaremko received a Graduate Award in Canadian History valued at $2,000 in 2016 and $3,000 in 2017. She was one of five students to receive the award each year.

Funding for the awards comes from the Friends of our History Endowment Fund, an initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation. See more below.


Winnipeg Foundation is a strong advocate of education. Whether it is administering the endowments that support hundreds of student awards, helping a family to establish a Scholarship Fund in memory of a loved one, or developing an awards program to encourage inner-city youth to pursue post-secondary education, we are proud to support our students.

Here are some projects we’ve worked on during the 2014–2017 Strategic Plan.


  • As the first ever Community Foundation in Canada, The Winnipeg Foundation believes understanding our history is vital to all Manitobans. The Friends of our History Fund aims to keep the best and brightest historians in our province.
  • The fund currently supports the Graduate Award in Canadian History, which is available to students studying Canadian history or history of Indigenous people in the joint Master’s program offered by the University of Manitoba and The University of Winnipeg.
  • In its inaugural year in 2016, five students received a total of $10,000. In 2017, $15,000 was awarded to the same five students.
  • The Foundation will continue to grow the endowment and the value of the gifts.
  • To make a gift, visit Friends of Our History Fund.


  • Established in 2011, these awards provide annual support to inner-city students from Grades 5 to 12.
  • Students can earn $1,000 awards each year based on hard work, attitude and commitment to learning.
  • Awards can be accumulated annually.
  • Supported by the Province of Manitoba’s Bright Futures Fund, the Winnipeg School Division, The Winnipeg Foundation and generous donors.
  • Between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2017, 1,393 YCDI Awards were presented, with 325 students receiving the award multiple times.
  • To date, 38 recipients have claimed 64 awards totaling $62,745.53.


  • Launched in 2001 by the Business Council of Manitoba, these awards are given to students of Indigenous ancestry based personal achievement, academic standing and financial need.
  • Supported by the Governments of Manitoba and Canada, business leaders, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous organizations and The Winnipeg Foundation, which plays an administrative role.
  • Since the program launched, more than 2,000 awards totaling more than $5 million have been distributed to students.
  • Between 2014 and 2017, 405 awards valued at more than $800,000 were issued.

How would you like to start?

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