Established in 2014

Supporting Indigenous women attending post-secondary

Loretta Saunders was an Inuk woman attending Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and just months away from completing an honours degree in Criminology when she was brutally murdered in February 2014. Despite the many obstacles she faced in her life, Loretta excelled at her studies, including her thesis work on three cases of missing and/or murdered Indigenous women in Mi’kma’ki.

Loretta spoke passionately about her research into the continued impacts of colonialism on Indigenous women like her. Here is an excerpt from her thesis proposal: “My story isn’t unique, thousands of girls are exposed to the exact same experiences that I couldn’t even fathom wishing upon another human being, yet our very own government is responsible for orchestrating the events and developing the policies and practices that led to the marginalization of generations of my people … I now know that many of my past experiences are a part of a vicious cycle that has been passed down through generations. This can no longer be accepted by our women and girls. It is through this project … that I aspire to educate and enlighten others to the devastating intergenerational impacts that colonization has created for us, as well as provide hope and inspiration that change is possible.”

Loretta was a passionate advocate for an end to violence against Indigenous women and girls and an outspoken advocate for a just reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and settlers. This fund honours Loretta’s passion for justice for Indigenous peoples and her dedication to her university studies.


Indigenous women from Mi’kma’ki, Nunatsiavut or Atlantic Canada attending a post-secondary institution in Canada, and who have completed the equivalent of one year of post-secondary education in the previous two years are invited to apply.

Applicants will be adjudicated on the basis of their scholastic achievement, service to Indigenous communities/volunteer activities, and financial need. The deadline to apply is July 30

Awards range from $500 to $2,000. Typically there will be at least one scholarship awarded annually; however, the donor reserves the right to give this scholarship on a more or less frequent basis as income levels and CFNS permit.