Holly Prince is one of only 20 doctoral students from across Canada and the globe who has received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards in Canada in the social sciences and humanities fields.
Prince is an Indigenous scholar and Anishinaabekwe from the Red Rock Indian Band, Lake Helen Reserve, and currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education (Thunder Bay campus), supervised by Dr. Lisa Korteweg, in the Joint PhD in Education program.
For more than a decade, Prince has been working as a researcher and project manager at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), focused on improving the end-of-life care in Indigenous communities with the active collaboration of community members.
Her current PhD work is situated in Indigenous community-based educational research, interdisciplinary in its focus on accessible, culturally relevant, well-being and education services, determined with and controlled by Indigenous people.
Prince has been awarded $180,000 over three years to advance her research into First Nations community-based palliative care education and programs, including funds to promote travel for research and scholarly networking and knowledge dissemination.
“I am extremely excited to have been awarded this honour and to become part of the new doctoral cohort in the Trudeau Foundation scholarly community,” said Prince.
“I feel both humbled and extremely responsible in my role as an Indigenous scholar, to see my own doctoral work as improving the conditions for academic research with Indigenous communities or bringing research back to life or positive repute in communities.”
“The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (PETF) encourages research that strives to make societal change through academia,” Prince said.
“Being part of such an accomplished and influential academic community will offer great opportunities to move Canadian institutions, like healthcare and education, forward in prioritizing Indigenous peoples, communities and our knowledge systems in research. I look forward to inquiring with fellow PETF scholars and mentors as to how academia can respectfully recognize the importance of Indigenous perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and ideas.”
Even though Prince’s research is specifically situated in palliative care education in Indigenous communities, she said this kind of work is relevant for all research in Canada, given the “longstanding broken relationships between Indigenous communities and universities and an ongoing inadequate acknowledgement of the value of Indigenous knowledge systems and community-based control.”
The Trudeau Foundation receives nominations from top PhD candidates in the Social Sciences and Humanities fields from universities across Canada and internationally. About 300 exceptional PhD students are nominated by their home universities, but only 20 in total are chosen after a grueling application process, including flying to Montreal for personal and group interviews.
This is the first time Lakehead University has nominated a graduate student for the PETF scholarship.
“For Holly to be awarded the renowned Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a phenomenal achievement and a testament to the outstanding quality of her scholarship,” said Dr. Korteweg, Prince’s supervisor.
“It is also a tribute to the pressing need for more Indigenous research by Indigenous scholars and with Indigenous communities. I couldn’t be prouder of Holly and for the national recognition of her Indigenous scholarship,” Dr. Korteweg added.
“For Holly to receive the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a wonderful personal achievement and a tribute to her scholarship,” said Dr. Wayne Melville, Acting Dean of Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education.
“As a Faculty we wish her all the best as she pursues her vital research into First Nations community-based palliative care education programs. The award is also a testament to the quality of the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program here at Lakehead, and the commitment of our faculty members to nurturing the next generation of researchers,” he added.
For more information: