Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Indigenous student hampers spread holiday cheer

December 21, 2020 - This year Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Indigenous Strategy team handed out nearly 120 holiday hampers to Indigenous students across the province. The 2020 Indigenous student holiday hamper campaign is presented by Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

“Indigenous students are struggling with many of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” shares Deanna Speidel, Sask Polytech interim Indigenous Strategy director. “Many of our students have families to support and are unable to work because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the demands of their programs. It feels good to help these students who are working so hard to reach their education and career dreams. Thank you to Farm Credit Canada for your generosity and support!” 

“Over the last few years, FCC has been part of the holiday celebrations with Sask Polytech. In previous years, it was an in-person event. This year, we wanted to make sure we could still contribute helping students celebrate their well-earned holiday break,” says Shaun Soonias, FCC director of Indigenous Relations.

“I am extremely grateful for my Sask Polytech holiday hamper,” says Rebecca Tootoosis, Business student. “It’s been a hard semester financially, mentally and emotionally. My husband and I are both students right now. This hamper means we will have food for the holidays.”

 "Thank you so much for the holiday hamper! You have no idea how much this will help my family. It saved our Christmas," says Kim Dubois, Literacy and Adult Education student. "My son will have something to open and a fantastic meal to enjoy. I cried I was so happy to receive a holiday hamper this year."

As students are learning from home and employees are working from home, this year’s Indigenous student holiday hampers were provided as gift cards. In addition to the holiday hamper program, Indigenous Strategy organized several virtual holiday events, including the 10 Days of Holiday Giveaways sponsored by AMI Supply. Students were invited to daily events taking place in early December over the noon hour including Indigenous 101, Kitchen Party, Cree for Beginners and Tipi Time. Indigenous students in attendance had the opportunity to win a gift card.

“Our virtual Indigenous holiday events were a great success,” shares Speidel. “Students needed the extra support this month as they were stressed with final assignments, the holiday season and the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Thank you to this year’s sponsors who are making a difference in the lives of our students and their families this holiday season. We are looking forward to virtual programming continuing in 2021.”

Thank you to all of of the 2020 Indigenous Student holiday sponsors: AMI Supply, Farm Credit Canada, FHQ Developments, Great Plains Contracting and K+S Potash Canada!

Happy Holidays from Indigenous Strategy! Marii Krismas! miyo-manitowi-kîsikanisik!