Tanya Schur receives G.H. Dawe Memorial Award at 2016 RDC Community Awards
RDC Alumna Tanya Schur is a well-respected leader in Red Deer and across central Alberta. As a Blackfoot-Metis mother of two grown children, Tanya follows the traditional teachings of the Blackfoot culture and lives the teaching of Chief Seattle: we all belong to the web of Life, what we do to others we do to ourselves. This principle guides her work in social justice and education.
Tanya is the Executive Director of the Red Deer Native Friendship Society, where her work focuses on a wide variety of initiatives encompassing the growth and sustainability of her people. She is committed to Aboriginal community development and the empowerment of the Aboriginal people through governance development work she led in the creation of the Urban Aboriginal Voices Society. As the leader of the Asooahum Crossing Development, Tanya is steadfast in sharing a clear vision of the completion of affordable housing in a cultural neighbourhood where all people will have access to Cree, Blackfoot and Metis cultural knowledge and experiences.
Tanya has followed the path of her leadership journey in many ways, attaining her Master of Arts in Leadership Studies, with a research focus on creating harmony in diverse work groups. She has applied her innate and learned leadership skills to her work with Red Deer Native Friendship Society and her work with many groups, such as the Government of Alberta First Nations Women’s Economic Security Council.
In 2014, she was among 20 women selected nation-wide to participate in the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute at the Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, where she shared her traditional knowledge at the Coady Institute Indigenous Women’s Leadership program.
A strong advocate for the education of Aboriginal people as an inherent right, Tanya is committed to helping make education attainable. Through the adoption of the SCCyber School model, she has provided meaningful opportunities to assist disadvantaged Aboriginal youth who find success in the traditional school system challenging. She has worked with Red Deer College on numerous occasions for strategic and operational reasons. Under her leadership, the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre provides services and support for countless Aboriginal students who have attended RDC.
Tanya’s leadership is collaborative and encouraging, built on the foundation of the seven grandfather teachings of respect, wisdom, humility, honesty, courage, truth and love. She uses her qualities to make a difference in the lives, not only of Aboriginal people, but of all young leaders who she believes will bring about a better world through attaining mainstream education and remembering the teachings of from their history and her story. Her energy, enthusiasm and kindness contribute significantly to a positive environment for all.
On May 18, Tanya was awarded the 2016 G.H. Dawe Memorial Award at the Red Deer College Community Awards in recognition for her commitment to community, leadership and education.