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UCW announces the first-ever recipient of its Emily Baker Scholarship

UCW announces the first-ever recipient of its Emily Baker Scholarship

University Canada West (UCW) is excited to announce Paul Grenier as the first-ever recipient of the Emily Baker Scholarship.

The scholarship was established in 2015 to honour Squamish elder and advocate Emily Baker and guarantees a full scholarship for an Indigenous MBA student every year.

Grenier, a certified financial planner, will start UCW’s MBA program online in October.

A proud member of the Manitoba Métis Foundation, Grenier earned his BCom (Hons.) degree from the University of Manitoba. While studying at the university, he also joined Indigenous Business Education Partners, a group that aims to provide a community for Aboriginal students. “Winning the Emily Baker scholarship is a true honour,” Grenier said. “I want to use this opportunity to act as a role model for Aboriginal youth. In doing so, I want to honour Elder Emily Baker's dedication to help people from Indigenous communities by getting involved and giving back.”

Baker passed away in 2019 at the age of 104. She was a Squamish Nation Elder and the widow of late Squamish Chief Simon Baker (known traditionally as Khot-La-Cha or ‘Man with a Kind Heart’). 

Baker was a strident advocate for equal rights for Indigenous students. She fought for years so that her children could attend Canadian public school and, after two years of negotiations, her daughters became the first Indigenous children to attend public school in Canada.

Baker was also a successful businesswoman. She started Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery & Gift Shop in 1969. She ran the business, which continues to thrive today, for 25 years before her daughter Nancy Nightingale took it over.

“We are delighted to award the first-ever Emily Baker Scholarship this year and to welcome Paul to University Canada West,” said UCW President Brock Dykeman. “This award was established to honour Ms. Baker and to provide an opportunity for more young Indigenous students to pursue their higher education and business goals."

Published on Sept. 17, 2020.