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Bryden Bukich stands in front of UM's Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management

Bryden Bukich was awarded one of 11 Alumni Association Community Leadership scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year

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Scholarships and graduate fellowship support UM students as they pursue their education goals

May 31, 2021 — 

Throughout his five years in university, Bryden Bukich has been interested in volunteer activities where he can make change. Passionate about Indigenous health, he has sought out leadership roles that support people who experience systemic marginalization. Applying for an Alumni Association Scholarship last fall gave him an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the work he’s been involved with, as well as acknowledge the mentors who have helped shape his journey and career goals.

“University of Manitoba faculty members have devoted countless hours to our education, showing interest in our success and achievements,” he says. “My goal as a future alum and professional is to honour their time and pay it back.”

Bukich was awarded one of 11 Alumni Association Community Leadership scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. Each year, UM’s Alumni Association offers two scholarships and a fellowship to support UM students as they pursue their education goals. Applications for all of the following are now open for the 2021-22 academic year:

  • Community Leadership Scholarship – for undergraduate students who have demonstrated extracurricular involvement at the university. One or more scholarships, with a minimum value of $1,000 each.
  • Entrance Scholarship – for students entering the university who have submitted the best essays on the topic of becoming future alumni. One or more scholarships, with a minimum value of $1,000 each.
  • Graduate Fellowship – for graduate students who are entering the first year of a research-based PhD program and have demonstrated intellectual ability and academic accomplishments. Administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the scholarship can be renewable for up to three years.

Bukich achieved his undergraduate degree in kinesiology this May and plans to start a master’s of science in Indigenous health in kinesiology this fall. His goal is to become a physician and researcher, looking at how Indigenous knowledges can be applied to patient care, and how Indigenous health disparities can be reduced in Canada.

“I like going beyond the academic structure and thinking creatively about how to evoke change in the greater community and health of Indigenous youth,” Bukich says. “UM has provided me with countless opportunities to succeed and empowered me to be imaginative in improving the health of our communities.”

On campus, Bukich has been involved with the PERKS Council (Physical Education Recreational Kinesiology Student Council), the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s Indigenous Engagement Circle and has served as a mentor for the Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program, supporting first-year Indigenous students. Off campus, Bukich is the head coach for the North American Indigenous Games U14 Basketball Team, and despite the pandemic, continues to coach athletes virtually over Zoom.

“I recognize that for many of these athletes, I am one of their only outlets to coaching and programming,” he says. “Through my studies and work with Indigenous Health in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, I have come to understand the importance of providing opportunities and sport programming for Indigenous youth to combat intergenerational trauma and negative health outcomes.”

When Bukich found out he was awarded the Community Leadership Scholarship, he was honoured.

“It made me feel as though my work is appreciated and that my vision of what leadership entails is reflective of what the university values in its students,” he says. “Applying for a scholarship is a great opportunity for students to reflect on their contributions and consider the meaningfulness of their involvement.”

The application deadline for the Alumni Association’s Community Leader Scholarship, Entrance Scholarship and Graduate Fellowship is Monday, August 16th at 4:30pm. For more information, visit the Alumni Association webpage.  Applications for the Entrance and Community Leadership scholarships can be sent to All Graduate Fellowship applications are to be submitted though your home department.

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