BU Senior Wins Prestigious Scholarship, Selected Among International Applicants

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posted February 22, 2012

BRANDON, MB — Laura Brandon, a 4th-year student at Brandon University has won the Society for American Archaeology’s Native American Undergraduate Scholarship in Archaeology. She is majoring in two disciplines — Anthropology with a specialization in Archeology and Native Studies. Also a wife and the mother of three children, Laura is currently working on her senior thesis and once done her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue graduate studies with the hope of one day working in a museum.

“I feel very honoured to have received this award. For me, it is quite an accomplishment, through the struggles I’ve had as a full-time student trying to raise a family, and even work and volunteer at the same time,” said Laura. “I am grateful for the recognition and for the people at Brandon University and my family, who have supported me over the past four years.”

One of Laura’s professors and the chair of the Native Studies Department, Dr. Laurelyn Whitt felt that Laura was an ideal candidate for this scholarship, which is open to all Native peoples from the Americas, Alaska, Hawaii and some of the Pacific Islands.

“It is an extraordinary achievement, which should inspire and motivate other students,” said Dr. Whitt. “We have been extremely proud of her for some time, and are even more so now.”

In her thesis, Laura addresses a number of the pressing issues related to the repatriation of indigenous cultural artifacts. There are many challenges for both indigenous peoples and for the museums and individuals who currently have these items in their possession. She plans to use her scholarship to fund a research trip to Calgary’s Glenbow Museum, which has a major focus in her area of study.

“This is close to home for Laura, as one of her relatives’ pipes is being held at the Glenbow and has become the property of Alberta,” said Dr. Whitt. “I have complete confidence in her ability to navigate her way through these challenging issues, without sacrificing their complexity or her integrity.”

Of this exceptional student, Brandon University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Deborah Poff stated: “ We are very proud of Laura’s achievement. Her thesis topic on the repatriation of indigenous cultural artifacts is of critical importance to Aboriginal people. I am so pleased that this scholarship will fund and support her thesis work.”

For more information, please contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762



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