Our Emerging Leader Award is granted to applicants who demonstrate a deep commitment to addressing gender and sexual violence against Indigenous people, who are utilizing their studies to lead ongoing efforts to raise awareness, support survivors, or prevent future violence. Each Emerging Leader Award recipient is given a $500 honorarium. 

Melanie Dene

Melanie Dene is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation located within the Treaty 8 territory. She is a mother of three beautiful children who have inspired her to pursue her post-secondary education. Currently, Melanie is in her first year in Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Alberta within Treaty 6 territory. She is focusing her work on how settler colonialism, land, and Indigenous women are related with a focus on themes in Canadian politics, such as: political legitimacy; power and injustice; and political change. Including how settler colonialism has used physical, economic, and political forces against Indigenous people, arguing that the Canadian system was set-up under the ​Indian Act Policy ​to celebrate the patriarchal man, and to objectify the Indigenous women.