The Nellie Makokis Carlson Commemorative Student Award honours indigenous activist Nellie Makois Carlson and all she has done for Indigenous rights. We celebrate her memory by awarding three hard-working mothers and/or primary caregivers who are working towards making a better future for their children.

Three successful applicants will be chosen for an award of $1,000.00 each.


Applicant must be:

  • a single mother, Two-Spirit, or gender-diverse person
  • attending a post-secondary institute
  • of Indigenous descent
  • able to demonstrate financial need

To apply:

  • Complete the application form
  • Provide proof of post-secondary enrollment
  • Write an essay of 250 words maximum

Application deadline is July 9, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Applications for 2021 closed, check back in Spring/Summer 2022 for award information

2021 Winners

Bio: Amelia Fox is a motivated Anishinaabe 2SLGBTQ+ youth advocate who takes initiative in program development, First Nation relationship building, and project management. She graduated from Lakehead University in June 2020 with two undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology. She is currently enrolled at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University to obtain the Smith Graduate Diploma in Business and is simultaneously coordinating programming as founder and lead coordinator of Niizhaayek Alliance. Niizhaayek Alliance is a grassroots youth organization that aims to create safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous youth in Ontario to reduce stigma and risks associated with being part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Tansi, my name is Charisma Castel (she/her) and I am a Nihithiwew Iskwew from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation located in Manitoba’s treaty 6 territory. As a first-generation student and single mother of two boys, I am honored to be a recipient of the Nellie Makokis Carlson Commemorative Student Award. Currently in my fourth year at the University of Manitoba, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and I plan on applying to medical school soon after. My hope is to bridge the gap for First Nations People within the Western health care system and improve Indigenous health and well-being through implementation of traditional medicines and practices. As a parent-student, I understand how cumbersome juggling studies while raising children can be. With that said, I commend all the mothers and caregivers out there putting in the hard work to obtain a higher education to better their lives. I remain deeply motivated by my children, continuously striving to show them and other youth that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. There is so much power in the ability to inspire Indigenous kin through leading by example. If we can do it as parents, so can anyone else! Ekosani

Lori Deets is Metis-Cree; born in Northern Saskatchewan. Being a 60’ss scoop and relocated to southern Saskatchewan, Lori now calls Moose Jaw home. Lori is a respected artist, leader and activist in her community. She is the Chair of the Board of the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association. As well as leader of Our Home On Native Land a local land back initiative of traditional territory proposed to the city of Moose Jaw. Lori is a graduate of the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership from Coady Institute in Antigonish, NS. She is now in her final year of her Indigenous Communications Arts Diploma at First Nations University of Canada.