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

Apply for the Fall 2021 semester! Go to the Identifying Information Section and under Select Site choose: Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund.

Nipisihkopahk Iyinisiwin Trust Fund (NITF) 2020 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.

Apply to receive a Chromebook

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

Carrisa Northwest is working as a contractor for Suncor Energy as a Junior Software tester. She is currently working as an Intern within Suncor Energy Centre in Calgary, Alberta. She took a 5month course learning about Software Testing with PLATO/PQA, prior to her internship, that will last for another 12 weeks. Before she can start a full-time time position with Plato as a Junior Software Tester.

Before she got into software testing, Carrisa was a Customer Service manager for Walmart Canada in Calgary for over 3 years, with a GED. Knowing she wanted to do more with herself, going back to school and taking a course was the only way she could start moving forward. So, she took a chance and went to Educate herself, for her to show that she can make a difference as an aboriginal cree woman.

She is a single, aboriginal mother from the Samson Cree Nation reserve and strives to give her kids a good life. Education plays a leading role in that and Carrisa is going to continue to educate herself as she grows. Not just for her family, also for herself.

Carrisa Northwest

Deneika Dennehy is a 23 year old woman from the Samson Cree Nation. Deneika is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Education at the University of Alberta. Deneika’s interests include cooking, baking, and learning the Cree language. Deneika’s passion for education began at the age of 14 when she was given the opportunity to work in elementary classrooms, “my teachers at Sacred Heart School saw the gifts I was given to work in classrooms before I did. They would always encourage me to become a teacher because they knew I would be good at it. My passion for education and bettering students’ experiences in the classroom began at the age of 14”. Throughout her degree, Deneika was a tutor for University courses and this gave her the opportunity to work with amazing Indigenous scholars to better students’ understanding of course subjects. Deneika’s educational goals include teaching students to be proud of who they are and where they come from as well as seeing highschool and post secondary grad rates go up. Deneika’s personal educational goals are obtaining a Masters and Phd through the Specialization in Indigenous People’s Education at the University of Alberta. “My educational dreams would not be possible without the support of my parents, kokums, mosoms, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, my professors at the University and the staff at Sacred Heart School and Maskwacis Outreach.

Deneika Dennehy

Erin Northwest grew up in Samson Cree Nation. Graduating from Wetaskiwin Composite High School in 2018 she wanted to further her career path and education focusing on Native Art. Erin and her boyfriend Gerald Elmer Lee Jr, looked into an interesting program at Portage College in Lac La Biche, Alberta. Through the help of a student advisor at Maskwacis Outreach in applying for the Aboriginal Artisan program at Portage College, they were both accepted. Her determination in getting into this specific program was detrimental, because it is her education dream. She wants to teach the youth about everything she is learning about; hide tanning, beading, sewing, welding, drawing/painting, pottery and many more about our native culture. Erin does not only want to teach the youth in her community but youth in other communities, but take the opportunity to travel world with her new knowledge. She believes she can pursue this dream, because of her support system: from her parents, grandparents, siblings, boyfriend, nieces and nephews and family/friends; also from the instructors at Portage College.

Erin Northwest

Keeshay was 27 when she decided to go back to school, she was a mother to 3 children at the time. her husband had started to experience mental health issues which eventually led to him being hospitalized, Keeshay found herself in a new and scary position in her life, as her husband had always been her and her children’s provider. She had to adjust to this change, she moved in with her mother and auntie in Ma Me O beach. She found this time in her life stressful and difficult, she never wanted to feel that scared and trapped again; she applied to NorQuest College in Wetaskiwin. She than started her upgrading in order to get into a university transfer program, after she finished her academic upgrading Keeshay went on to apply at Portage College and is now a Sociology major aiming at attending the University of Alberta for Criminology. There are many people in Keeshay’s life that support her in many ways.

Keeshay Lightning

Samson Education Trust Fund is pleased to share on the student success of Lori Buffalo whom is a recent high school graduate.

Lori’s advice to youth is: “The biggest challenge I had were the ones I created in my mind. The main reason I dropped out of school and even giving up on education was that I was terrible at Math… I let numbers convince me I was dumb. So I walked away from my education for 12 years… You need to pace yourself. Plan accordingly to your studies. Three years just to get my diploma seemed like a daunting task and I wasn’t sure if I would ever finish but here I am, graduating! Being successful is that it’s not for just a special, select few that are chosen. Being successful is within every single one of us. Not everyone will see the vision you have for yourself, not everyone will join you, it’s important to know that. t’s important that you surround yourself with people that have the same goals in mind, who get up at 6am to start their day, who study hard and create their own paths. surround yourself with people who are hungry for success, who are unstoppable and unreasonable when it comes to getting what they want and who really believe that no matter what, they’re going to make it. The people that are living their dreams are the people who know that if it’s going to happen it’s up to them. You really do have to find your value and invest in you. Invest in your mind!”


Lori Buffalo

Samson Education Trust Fund is pleased to share on the student success of Leslie Saddleback.

“People in society would consider me a ‘have not’, especially considering not only historical trauma done to our peoples but because of the separation distance from my home reserve relative to Maskwacis. I have proven time-and-time again that society cannot dictate to me who I should be or what I should be doing. I’ve been through the worst of times and the best of times within my educational journey. I’m living proof that you can be anything you set your heart on being”.

Despite her struggles Leslie has received the Bank of Montreal Youth Internship scholarship, Diane Brickner Business scholarship and three Indspire bursaries. Leslie was also the first Miss Indian Canada and has travelled across Canada at many pow wows.


Leslie Saddleback

NIFT has benefitted me with the funding to attend Roberson College, also monthly incentives have alleviated most of the pressure of my bills, giving me more clarity to focus on my school work.

I am looking forward to completing my diploma for Business Administration Management, in November 2019 as well as further my studies to obtain my masters. Thank you for all the support from staff at NITF.


Kendrick Rain

NITF has helped me with mid-month incentives when bills start adding extra weight on my shoulders. Thanks to all the staff for their hard work and dedication! It gives me relief knowing NITF is always there to support me and many other students.

Jewel Baptiste