Education Welcomes Emilee Bews as its First McCall MacBain Scholar

Published: 13 April 2022

Emilee Bews will join 20 newly selected McCall MacBain Scholars from 17 Canadian universities pursuing graduate studies at McGill University in Fall 2022. McGill Education's first McCall MacBain Scholar, Emilee is completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Calgary and will pursue her MA, Education & Society within the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Connecting with her Indigenous heritage, she volunteers as an Indigenous student peer mentor and has previously served on Calgary's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls Committee. During the pandemic, she facilitated creative writing workshops and developed summer camp programs for elementary school students.

Emilee developed team leadership skills at a young age, having been promoted to swing manager at McDonald's at age 18. She carries these skills throughout her studies and current role as the Indigenous librarian assistant at the University of Calgary. After she graduates, she will pursue a Master of Arts in Education and Society at McGill.

The McCall MacBain scholarship provides mentorship, coaching, a leadership curriculum, and full funding for a master’s or professional program at McGill. The funding covers the program’s tuition and fees, as well as a living stipend of $2,000 per month.


Read more about Emily in The Globe and Mail and in the interview below:


What was it like to receive the news after final interviews?

“It was the greatest feeling to be named a McCall MacBain Scholar. I was sitting next to my family when I received the call, and I’m so grateful I got to share that moment (and many happy tears) with them. I’m excited to begin this journey and look forward to all the opportunities to come.”


What does this scholarship mean to you?
“This scholarship opens so many doors, allowing me to further my studies and work towards creating meaningful change with Indigenous education. I’m thrilled to be a part of a cohort that allows me to learn with and from the other scholars while having the opportunity to develop and share my passion.”


How did your current university experience help prepare you for this opportunity?
“I've been fortunate enough to work with and learn from several strong, brilliant women within the UCalgary community: all of whom have encouraged me to own my culture, follow my passions, challenge my abilities, and take risks in pursuit of the change I hope to see concerning Indigenous education and reconciliation.”


What do you hope to explore further during your master’s or professional studies?

“Within my master's program, I hope to further explore my passion for advocacy within Indigenous education. I'm interested in exploring what it means to decolonize the classroom and working towards the process of reconciliation within education systems.”


What would you say to other students / alumni to encourage them to apply?

“From the very beginning, the application process is designed to have applicants reflect upon their experiences in relation to their personal, professional, and academic goals looking towards future studies. This process offers applicants valuable experiences with personal and professional development, no matter the outcome.”


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