Reach Your Goals
Our mission is to promote and encourage Samson Cree Nation members with their educational endeavors.
Apply for the Summer 2023 semester:
Go to the Identifying Information Section and under Select Site select: Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund
“Education is our buffalo” – Samson Elder
The Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) provides education support services to Samson Cree Nation members who require assistance in pursuing their education goals.
Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) 2022 Awards Night Video Slideshow
Each Year NITF hosts an awards ceremony to recognize and honor our student graduates and their achievements.
Samson Cree students may be eligible to receive a monthly attendance incentive to assist in completing their program of studies!
Travelling over seas for a school related trip? Our student benefit program may assist you with school related filed trips!
Have you successfully completed your program of study? You may be eligible to recieve an award!
Don't miss the deadline!
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
Grade 12 Graduation Assistance
Visit our Resources page to download the application for Armand & Katherine Swampy Parenting Bursary or Biane Brickner Bursary.
Off-Reserve School Supplies
If you live off reserve and require schools supplies for your education, we can help!
Latiya graduated from the University of Alberta in June 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies. She is currently working as a Lands Management Officer with the Government of Canada and sits on Samson Cree Nation’s nipîy (water) committee.
Growing up within the community and participating in cultural ceremonies, it was clear to Latiya that environmental management and corresponding policies must be inclusive of Indigenous perspectives. Latiya hopes that her education and experience can help bridge the gaps between Western science and Indigenous knowledge to find solutions to the ongoing issues of climate change.
Samson Cree Nation NITF has helped immensely with supporting her educational journey through breaking down any financial barriers and Latiya is proud to represent her community in a positive light.
Tansi – My name is Chase Soosay, recent undergraduate obtained with distinction from MacEwan University with the BComm program majoring in accounting and a recipient of the Presidents Medal received in 2021. Graduate student from the University of Alberta from the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program recently obtained in 2022.
Currently articling with KPMG Canada with pursuits of obtaining the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.
I would not be here today if it was not for the strength of our ancestors and the continued support of not only our Nation, but our community members across all facets of my journey. We all come from some form of adversity. Myself, I was a troubled youth. It is these trials in our lives, these tests, that bring us together as people. We have all shared some experience’s more than most than our counterparts in society, and yet we continue to strive forward. I believe it is our duty to honor our ancestors who have laid a path for us to walk upon. We are all meant for great things, but the definition of greatness is different for us all. Know thyself, be a servant to one another, and honor not only your loved ones but your gifts. The secret to success is the ability to help more people.
Live a good life.
Thank you to the many staff who have made a commitment into empowering students and assisting them to achieve their best self.
My name is Justice Soosay and I have recently graduated from the Mount Royal University with a Bachelors of Business Administration.
I am currently employed as an Employment Specialist working with our Indigenous peoples within the city of Red Deer and surrounding areas. Working with our people by providing employment support while educating and encouraging those to reach for their goals and aspirations is a very rewarding role.
In the fall of 2016, I uprooted my family and left my home community of Samson Cree Nation to pursue a post-secondary education in business to ultimately provide a better future for my children.
As I reflect back over the years, I am truly grateful for my family, friends, community and supports such as Nipisihkopahk Education Authority and Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund that have played a major role in my educational success! Ai Hai, wishing many blessings to you all.
If you are on the fence about pursuing a higher education in post-secondary or pursuing a career in the trades, I hope to encourage you to do so. Life is an adventure and change can be scary, but you will not regret taking the leap of faith into the unknown to find your way in the world.
With that said, I dedicate my Bachelors of Business Administration credential to my Late Brother Chance Justin Emerson Soosay who passed during this time and did not have the opportunity to complete his studies at the Maskwacis Cultural College.
I acknowledge our Creator (kisemanito) for miyo askiy pimâtisiwin (Good earth life). I am grateful to all those who prayed and made offerings on my and my family’s behalf and to all the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who keep us all in prayer. I am the youngest daughter of the late Myers Buffalo (kinesiw) and the late Nellie Omeasoo (pâkwêsimo iswkew). It is with this type of support that we are able to complete what we start.
My academic journey began with adult upgrading. Although I completed high school (Grade 12), I discovered that I did not have the academic grades to pursue a post-secondary education. After the loss of a child, through sudden infant death syndrome, I knew I had to pursue a higher level of education in order to care for my children. I decided to pursue a degree in Psychology in my attempt to actively heal the grief, anxiety and depression I experienced during that time.
The journey to connect with mental health and healing, both from a Western and Nehiyaw perspective, continued through my Masters and Doctorate Degree Programs. I completed a Master’s of Counseling Degree through Athabasca University in 2011 and in 2022 I completed the iyiniw pimâtisiwin kiskeyihtamowin Doctoral Program (ipk-Doc) at the University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (Saddle Lake, Alberta). As my final dissertation project, I designed a Jingle Dress outfit in order to learn over 400 energy points within the body. I applied nearly 200 beaded medallions that represented energy points known to positively affect mental health and which have connections with plants and planets. My plan is to utilize what I have learned and integrate them into the delivery of programs, services, and mental health practices. Learning is never completed. Once we think we know, we realize it was only one level and we find ourselves listening for more.
I am very grateful to both the Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) and Nipisihkopahk Education Authority (NEA) for all the support they have offered. It is with your vision and support that we, as Nation members, are able to pursue and complete our academic goals. Thank you.
Grace N. Dion
Tansi, my name is Jack Omeasoo and thanks to the Nipisikopahk Iyiniswin Trust Fund I’m a recent graduate from the University of Victoria. I finished my undergrad with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After some work experience this year, I’ll be attending grad school for a Master in Clinical Psychology. Then I’ll work as a therapist until I decide what the next steps in my education bring.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I’d like to work for the First Nations health authority here in British Columbia and work in harm reduction for those who struggle with addiction. Growing up visiting the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver I’ve seen first-hand how trauma and abuse can manifest as addiction in Indigenous people. Being eternally grateful to the band and our people for the support, I’d like to do all that I can to improve the lives of others.
I believe that education is the new buffalo and is one of the most important steps in improving an individual’s life, whether it be formal, traditional, or any other form. The NITF has extended that opportunity to me and many others who might not have had access. I’m humbled to have been supported in my journey this far and will be forever grateful.
My name is Katherine Swampy. I am in the final year of her PhD in Public Policy Administration.
Being a student in a digital age has its fair share of benefits and complications. I use technology to my advantage, when I was in my undergraduate degree in economics I used Youtube to get a good understanding of many mathematical equations. And now if I have a reading I need to complete, I often multi task and use my computer to read aloud while I’m cooking or washing dishes. But I know that in Maskwacis we don’t have the greatest internet connection, it can be a frustrating to use technology too. What I want to share is a story of inspiration, I faced so many struggles throughout my education journey, struggles like death, suicides, addictions, violence, poverty, no vehicle, no food, no internet, depression, and I wanted to quit so many times. I often thought about that saying, “if you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. Just don’t give up.” And there has been many times I crawled along the way.
The elders say Education is our new Buffalo, and I’m grateful I pursued my education. I carried the weight of my community, thinking, I’m out here learning so I can give back to my community, so I can help my community. I was the first in my family to graduate high school, let alone go into post-secondary. It was a lot of pressure, but I told myself to think about the thousands of ancestors who are cheering for me, supporting me on the spiritual side. For all of us, the ancestors, the kokums, and mosums, they want to see us succeed, and for our youth, my children watched me go to school, they are learning too.
Madison Nepoose-Wood is a 18-year-old student who goes to the University of Alberta in her first year in the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with the hope of becoming a physiotherapist.
Throughout all three years in high school, Madison was on the honour roll while balancing a hockey-filled extracurricular life. It was during one of her seasons when Madison visited and used physio to help rehabilitate an injury and return to the ice and sport that she loves. She realized then, that she could combine her love of schooling with sports and find a career that would satisfy both.
After graduating high school, Madison was accepted at multiple universities and selected her first choice at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Science. Although her first term was successful, Madison realized she needed the in-person support of her family and friends and she transferred to the University of Alberta.
Madison is very thankful for this opportunity and the support that she receives from NITF, family and friends.
Hello. My name is Sarah Jo Buffalo-Clazie. I am Cree, Nêhiyaw-iskwêw, from Samson First Nation. I identify as a Mom, wife, woman and healer. I am the proud owner of Willow Stone Connective Health, formally Trinity Massage Therapy. Since I can remember, I wanted to be a healer. I remember going around the campfire massaging the athletes after a golf tournament or a ball tournament when I was about 10 or so. My parents were always ones to host.
I graduated high school in 2002, from Ponoka Composite. I worked, and journied for 3 years, then returned to school to be a Massage Therapist. March 2006 I graduated from the Alberta Institute of Massage, which lead to owning my own business by June 2007. I had been massaging for 14 years when I decided to return to school to further my knowledge, by becoming a Manual Osteopath. Manual meaning “work done by hands”, osteopath meaning “manipulative medicine”.
I graduated from the National Manual Osteopathic College, in Innisfail, Alberta, in July 2022, with honors and distinction. When I’m not treating, I enjoy weight lifting, yoga, volleyball, softball and spending time with my husband and two very busy son’s. I love to encourage an active and healthy life-style, and believe it adds to my treatments. I am also a 240hr trained yoga instructor, which also plays a role in my knowledge of the body. My goal for all my clients, is for each one to be able to live life to the fullest. Mind, body, soul. Maintaining a pain free life is crucial in doing so. I use this approach for each treatment I have the pleasure of doing.
Manual Osteopathy is a newer modality in Canada, but is surely becoming more popular. This training was incredibly humbling, but it also helped to validate my natural capabilities. I am so very fortunate to have found a career that brings me so much joy on a daily basis.
Thank you to NITF for the support through this journey. Myself and my family truly appreciate all you did for us. Hiy hiy