WARMAN, SK – The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network (SFNEDN) and Great Plains College were proud to award the third SREDA Indigenous Economic Development Scholarship (SIEDS) to Kelly Fiddler at a luncheon on February 28.
The SIEDS scholarship was created in 2018 to recognize leaders in the Indigenous community by offering a scholarship to an Indigenous student who is actively enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Community Economic Development. The program is offered by Cape Breton University and hosted at Great Plains College Warman Campus.
“Fostering Indigenous economic development is a key pillar of SREDA’s work, and that’s why we’re committed to strengthening the next generation of Indigenous leaders,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “We’re proud to lead this initiative, along with Great Plains College and SFNEDN, to support these leaders as they gain new skills and expand their career opportunities.”
This year’s recipient, Kelly Fiddler of Martensville, saw his interest in economic development begin when taking a short tourism planning course through the Meadow Lake Tribal Council. Participating in this course led Kelly to pursue additional educational opportunities including the attainment of a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Bachelor of Arts degree (Native Studies), Certification as an Aboriginal Economic Development Professional through the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers and his current enrolment in the MBA program.
Throughout his previous 15 years of service in the Indigenous economic development field, Kelly has worked with many Saskatchewan organizations including the Ministry of Economy (Enterprise Saskatchewan) and others that have supported economic development and entrepreneurship of First Nation and Métis in the province. These work placements have allowed him to focus on development projects emphasizing Indigenous economic development.
Kelly is looking ahead to the ongoing benefits of the MBA program as it will allow him to add skillsets in Community Economic Development that are much needed in First Nation communities. Upon completion of the MBA program, his goal is to continue assisting First Nations in developing their important projects that will bring economic sovereignty to Indigenous people.
“We are honoured to again present this scholarship to a very deserving candidate who is dedicated to Indigenous economic development, has a history of being active in the community and continues to extend his learning growth through higher educational opportunities,” said David Keast, president and CEO at Great Plains College. “Kelly has had a great impact on the communities and organizations he has been involved with and we look forward to seeing that impact grow as he completes the MBA program.”
Students who qualify for this annual scholarship can receive $5,000 toward their education in the MBA in Community Economic Development program during their first or second year of study. When the scholarship partnership was created in 2018, a total of $20,000 was made available to provide the annual financial assistance during the four-year agreement. SREDA invested a total of $10,000 to be spread across four academic years and the Government of Saskatchewan matched this $10,000 investment through its Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program.
“The SFNEDN is pleased to extend our congratulations to Kelly Fiddler, the 2020 recipient of the SREDA Indigenous Economic Development Scholarship,” said Charlotte Ross, Co-Chair of the SFNEDN. “I have had the honor of knowing Kelly in his undergraduate studies and can attest to the outstanding contributions he has made over the years toward Indigenous economic development in Saskatchewan.”
The MBA in Community Economic Development is offered on alternate weekends over a two-year period at Great Plains College Warman Campus through Cape Breton University. This program allows students to earn an innovative MBA while working, with a focus on strategic leadership, First Nations economic development and public policy.
More information on the SIEDS scholarship or Great Plains College’s Entrance Scholarship program can be found by visiting greatplainscollege.ca/scholarships.
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For more information:
Bryce Martin, communications & marketing coordinator
Great Plains College