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Mary Young

Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness


Mary Young has been an inspiration to those that know her. The issues she addresses range from healing the residential school experience, combating racism and discrimination, incorporating the wisdom of Elders into modern society and ensuring the survival of Aboriginal languages. She has worked diligently to reconnect many Aboriginal young people with their home communities, culture and languages.

Young began working at The University of Winnipeg in 1984 as Native Student Advisor/ Counselor. She became director of Aboriginal Student Services in 2003. Young will also be joining the Faculty of Education as a tenured Assistant Professor this Fall.

Young continuously reaches out to the community participating in fostering cross-cultural understanding and harmony through conferences and think-tanks. Her connection to UWinnipeg and other community agencies has solidified change for a better community. She has made a tangible difference in thinking and improved the lives of many individuals.

She serves on several boards including Louis Riel Institute, Urban Circle and the Aboriginal Education Research Forum. Young has also served on the UWinnipeg Task Force Committee, initiated an Elder in Residence Program and named the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, an example of a ‘partnership’ between the university and the community.

Young has experienced first hand the tragedy of residential schools, the separation from family and racial sterotyping creating a woman that has overcome adversity and made her community a better place. Her hopes and shared lessons with academics and members of her community work towards healing and growth for all participants.

Young obtained her Bachelor of Arts at The University of Winnipeg, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Education and her Masters in Education at the University of Manitoba and her Doctor of Philosophy from the Universtiy of Alberta.