YELLOWKNIFE (April 21, 2023) – The Yellowknife Community Foundation (YKCF) announces the establishment of the Sharon Morrison Memorial Indigenous Education Fund, in memory of the late Sharon Morrison. Sharon began her Spirit Journey on July 22, 2022 in Yellowknife, her home for over 40-years.
The fund provides a bursary for Indigenous residents of the Northwest Territories pursuing postsecondary education in nursing and personal support work. In 2023, three $2,500 bursaries will be made available. Applications are being accepted now on our student award application portal, with a deadline of May 15th.
A grant to organizations to support Indigenous language and cultural revitalization and/or reclamation in the Northwest Territories will also be offered annually. In 2023, organizations will be able to apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to support these activities.
Quote by Lance Morrison, son of Sharon – “When we moved to Yellowknife in 1981, we moved here with no family, no support, and little money. We lived in social housing and for many years, on social assistance. My parents were both high school drop-outs and not a lot of opportunities were available. In 1985, mom decided to make changes. Aurora College was launching a Homecare / Long-Term Care program, and Mom saw her chance to break the cycle of poverty we had always known.
“After graduating the program, Mom did a placement at Mary Murphy Home, then started at Stanton Regional Hospital’s Extended Care Unit, and after 35 years, she retired from Stanton in 2021. She spent those years teaching generations of nurses that came after her, and inspired many to be the best in compassionate care.
“In her later years, she was also passionate about learning nêhiyawêwin, our ancestral language, and was always excited about Indigenous language and cultural revitalization programs happening in the North. Mom’s traditional name was Red Butterfly Woman and when we look at the lifecycle of a butterfly – from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly – it represents a life of amazing transformation. Therefore, I wanted to ensure these bursaries and grants would also be transformational to their recipients. Mom would be glad her legacy can live on in these recipients for years to come. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing community support that has come from friends and loved-ones over the past few months since the fund was launched. Truly, I am grateful. kinanâskomitin.”
Quote by Laurie Gault, Chair of the Yellowknife Community Foundation – “We are very pleased to be able to include this fund to continue to create diverse student award and granting programs. Healthcare delivered by educated, caring and dedicated individuals is a goal that we will all benefit from. Supporting language revitalization will strengthen cultural resilience and help to create a healthy community for everyone in Sharon’s memory.”
YKCF and its Board of Directors would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Morrison family.
Donations to the fund can be made through YKCF’s online donation portal.
The Yellowknife Community Foundation was formed in 1993 as a charitable organization that inspires and enables impactful giving in Yellowknife and the NWT. We strive to align donor interests and community needs through evidence-based grant-making, fundraising, strategic investment, public education and community relations. Through the generosity of people in our community, we aim to be a catalyst for sharing, supportive and connected communities.