Dawn Wallin Receives Migizii Award
On May 4, 2013, Dr. Dawn Wallin, acting EAF&P Department Head and associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, received the 2013 Migizii Award from the Traditional Graduation Pow Wow Committee. This is the third year the award has been presented. The Migizii Award is to acknowledge a university staff member who went above and beyond for you and/or other Aboriginal students on campus.
Wallin was nominated by Thelma Nice Pronteau. As a Masters student, Nice Pronteau took a class taught by Wallin and found her dynamic and engaging. After the class was finished, Nice says she didn’t have any further classes with Wallin. She ended up not being able to continue her program due to personal issues.
“I gave up on my dream of furthering my education and resigned myself to the daily grind of reserve life,” Nice Pronteau, now an administrator in Pukatawagan, Manitoba, wrote in her nomination letter. “I am nominating Dr. Dawn Wallin for the Migizii award because she has demonstrated a traditional First Nation teaching which is the importance of acting and leading with the heart. Dr. Dawn Wallin reached out to me, she gave me as second chance and supported me along the way. Dr. Dawn Wallin has made a difference.”
Wallin says she was humbled by the nomination. “I was deeply struck by how one small act of support in a single moment in time can have life affirming impacts on others. Thelma’s nomination helped me re-connect to the reasons why I became a teacher. She taught me to remember that our triumphs are connected to the struggles we face, and that all of our successes as educators occur in the relationships we have with others.”
“Over the past number of years, I have learned much from working with the Aboriginal students that I have had the good fortune to meet in our programs,” says Wallin. “This award underscores for me that although we have a long way to go towards “Indigenizing the Academy”, we are moving in the right direction as long as we focus on what Verna Kirkness terms the 4R’s: respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility. And so the teacher becomes the learner. Thank you, Thelma!”
There were also six Honourable Mentions for the award:
- Mitch Bourbonierre, Extended Education
- Joan Churley, Faculty of Social Work
- Deanna Halonen, Faculty of Social Work
- Sasha Kondrasov, Extended Education
- Dr. Emma LaRoque, Faculty of Arts
- Dr. Bret Nickels, Faculty of Arts