Our mission is to promote and encourage Samson Cree Nation members with their educational endeavors.

Apply for the Winter 2023 semester! Go to the Identifying Information Section and under Select Site choose: Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund.

Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) 2021 Awards Night Virtual Celebration

“Education is our buffalo” – Samson Elder

About NIFT

The Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) provides education support services to Samson Cree Nation members who require assistance in pursuing their education goals.


Samson Cree students may be eligible to receive a monthly attendance incentive to assist in completing their program of studies!

Student Benefits

Travelling over seas for a school related trip? Our student benefit program may assist you with school related filed trips!

Completion Awards

Have you successfully completed your program of study? You may be eligible to recieve an award!

Don't miss the deadline!

It’s important that you submit your application. The deadlines are:

June 15th for September Start Date (Fall)

November 15th for a January Start Date (Winter)

March 15th for a May Start Date (Spring)

May 15th for a July Start Date (Summer)

Grade 9 to Grade 12 Achievement Awards

Have you recently completed grade 9, 10, 11 or 12? NITF provides incentives to these graduates to encourage them to continue pursuing education!

Grade 12 Graduation Assistance

Graduation cereomines can be costly. Click here to find out how NITF may be able to assist!


Visit our Resources page to download the application for Armand & Katherine Swampy Parenting Bursary or Biane Brickner Bursary.


NITF provides tutorial financial assistance to Samson students attending Federally funded and Provincial Schools.

Laptop Reimbursement Application

If you require a Laptop for your education, we can help!

Off-Reserve School Supplies

If you live off reserve and require schools supplies for your education, we can help!

Onisty Woods is a 20 year old student who goes to the University of Alberta as a third year in the Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Science combined 5 year program, with hopes to become a high school science teacher.

Throughout all three years in high school, Onisty was within the top 3 academically, and she graduated being the salutatorian at her high school. It was the teachers at Onisty’s high school that led to her wanting to become a teacher, as well as her older brother who is also a teacher.

After graduating high school, Onisty decided to go straight into University, advancing her education to reach her goals as quickly as possible. Although her first year at University was thrown for a loop when things were very suddenly moved online, she’s still going strong, even after her entire second year was online as well.

Without the help of the Samson Cree Nation NITF and other forms of funding, following these dreams would have been much more difficult, and she is very thankful for this opportunity to do this with this level of support.

Onisty Woods

Firstly, I am grateful to creator for everything in my life and for helping me to achieve my master’s in nursing, Nurse Practitioner Family All Ages program. My grandfather once told me, “To do great things in this world you must have balance in your life. Take the good of the Cree ways in one hand and the good of the white ways in the other. And bring the good together you will find balance” (Late Fred Bruno). I think he told me this because he saw how our world was going to change. My entire family was always keen on education. We knew that it would save us, give us power from knowledge and allow us to continue to thrive beyond surviving. I always had a calling in the health field. My late aunt Nancy Yellowbird was a nurse and she encouraged me to become a nurse. I graduated University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2004. I then went to work with Maskwacis Health Services. I provided home care services for over 15 years before I decided I wanted to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner in 2017. I studied into the wee hours of the morning and then went to practicums. Its hard to believe its all done, the time went by so fast. I am proud of myself for the simple fact that I did not quit. I am single mother, cancer survivor, a warrior woman. I did it, I got it, I mastered it.

Tammy Bruno

Shaydawn Buffalo is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from Samson Cree Nation located on Treaty 6. Territory.

Her career plan is to pursue a post secondary education in Social Work. She is currently going into her first year and is determined to expand her knowledge and take on every single challenge. Shaydawn’s goal is to give back to the community & provide help to children and families in need. “Many elders & people in the community say that we need more Indigenous Social Workers.” Shaydawn states.

As a young girl, Shaydawn had experience of living in the foster care system. The trauma she has endured has driven her up to this point of aiming for success & healing. She believes that anyone can turn their intergenerational trauma into something beautiful.

Along her education journey, she has crossed paths with plenty of positive individuals who encourage her to push forward and to never give up on her dream of being a Social Worker.
“If you have those positive people in your corner when life gets tough, reach out to them, because they will always redirect you in the right direction. Ahkameyimok – Don’t give up, keep trying, persevere all of you.”

Shaydawn Buffalo

“I honestly have no idea how I’ve been getting through schooling, other than the Creator. I started my first year in the Business of Administration-Management Diploma at NAIT 10 years ago and then I quit. Since then I’ve gone through many ups and downs, I really struggled as I was raised in foster care and I didn’t know where I belonged. I have been in recovery for 2.5 years now through AA and ceremony which is one of the things I am proud of the most. Through the pandemic, a pregnancy, a birth, and now 5 beautiful kids, I did have come far and now I have only 1 more year left and then I will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration-Management. If it wasn’t for NITF, I would not be where I am right now. Being supported financially has helped my family in so many ways and has really helped me feel like I belong. Thanks, NITF for all the support you have given to me and my family!”

Natasha Saddleback

Tayte was born two pounds twelve ounces and was twelve inches long, he was also eleven weeks early. It wasn’t till grade one till his challenges came out and we started addressing them. It was a long journey of therapists and psychologists, doctors, testing, speech therapy. He pushed himself everyday, caught the bus, and found out he has a knack for cooking. He completed all cooking classes and worked in cafeteria four plus years.

School was very hard for Tayte we went through so much together, we laughed, cried, frustration was a weekly feeling. In the end it was all well worth it because he did graduate and received a scholarship for work experience to top it off. We graduated during covid so it was a virtual grad, but it never stopped him from feeling a great sense of accomplishment for all his hard work. Some said he would never finish because of his cognitive challenges being born so early and small, I guess he showed them. Way to go Tayte. Proud of you.

Tayte Antoine

My name is Cameron Saddleback, I am a 23 year old male from Samson Cree Nation. In 2015 I completed my High School Diploma from Jasper Place Composite High School.
While at University of Morris I was enrolled in Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics as part of the Pre-Engineering, and was active in playing NCAA division 3 football.

In 2020 I transferred to Simon Fraser University to pursue my passion for Football at Simon Fraser University competing in NCAA Division II Football league. I am currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in the Indigenous Studies program.

Throughout the transition from secondary schooling to post secondary, I am very grateful to Nipiskopahk Education authority for providing me with the funding I need to get through my studies.

Cameron Saddleback

Shyanne Yellowbird grew up in Seattle, WA, after living in Maskwacis in her early childhood. She is currently working as an Account Executive (Sales) for Amazon Web Services after graduating Columbia University in June 2020.

In college, she majored in Film and Media Studies while taking Indigenous Studies and Business classes on the side. To explore her interests in the entertainment industry, she interned at a small production company for a Netflix project and then Columbia Records in the fall of 2019. Her interests outside of work include traveling, film, art, and fashion. She hopes to one day be in a position where she can hire and open the door for more Indigenous people to have access to more opportunities in these spaces of arts or business.

Her biggest takeaway in life so far is, “You’re going to fail at a lot of things in life, but it’s all about what you do after. Do you let it beat you down or do you pick yourself up, learn, and keep moving forward? There’s so many times I wanted to give up, quit school, get more sleep, or just go home to my family. But, I never did because eventually anything difficult you’re going through is going to pass. Once you get past those challenges, you continue to grow as a person. I also have to thank my family and friends for all the pep talks they would give me to keep it pushing. But, at the end of the day, I would also say to always put yourself out there, apply for that job, post that Youtube video, pursue anything you want because you never know where your efforts can take you – you just need to put in the action.”

Shyanne Yellowbird

Hayden Saddleback 20 year old from Samson Cree Nation, who Graduated High School in 2018 from Bev. Facey High School in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

In 2020 Hayden completed his 2 year diploma program from SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)in Geomatics Engineering as well as being selected by the Geomatics Department toreceive a recognition scholarship for maintaining a 3.15 GPA throughout his program.

Currently, Hayden started working as an Intern for the UAV club at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology allowing work experience and the ability to understand and learn from Professionals within his field of study.

Education has always played an important role in Hayden Saddleback’s career and livelihood, he solely believes the betterment of oneself comes from education and learning.

Hayden Saddleback