You are now in the main content area

Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Award

The Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Award has been established by a friend of the Rotary Club through the Toronto Eglinton Rotary Charitable Foundation to encourage Indigenous students to pursue graduate studies with the hope of increasing the number of Indigenous Peoples entering careers in academia. Awarded a Rotary scholarship in 1968, she was able to travel from her homeland of Denmark to pursue post-graduate work in biochemistry in the United States, at a time when it was uncommon for women to pursue higher education. After completing her PhD in 1974, she came to Canada where she taught and conducted research at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, until her recent retirement as a tenured faculty member.

Applications are now open. Apply via Award Spring (external link) .

up to $30,000 (full-time students) 

up to $15,000 (part-time students)

September 25, 2023

To be eligible for this award, students must:

  • Be registered as a part- or full-time student in a graduate degree program (not including PMDip students) at Toronto Metropolitan University and have clear academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial need, as determined by Toronto Metropolitan University through submission of a Student Budget Form
  • Self-identify as an Indigenous person to the land we know as Canada (including First Nations (Status/Non-Status), Metis, or Inuit cultural and/or ancestral background)
  • A written statement (1 page single-spaced) outline:

1. What are your plans and career goals in academia after graduation?
2. How will the money from this award impact your capacity to achieve your educational goals?

  • Two reference letters:
    • One letter of reference should be from an elder/ community member that can speak to the student’s volunteer experience and contributions to society/ community 
    • One letter of reference from an Academic familiar with the students work/ research 
  • CV: Students should demonstrate leadership/ volunteerism; academic involvement

Note: Budget Form will not be weighted but must be included to determine financial need. 

Applications open on August 24, and students can apply via AwardSpring (external link) .

Award Recipients

Cayley Delisle
Cayley Delisle, MEng PhD

Cayley Delisle is a PhD student in the mechanical and industrial engineering department here at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has specialized in the field of thermofluids during her Masters of Applied Science. She has continued that passion in her current research. Her knowledge of cooling using porous media field channel heat sinks with nanofluid subjected to jet impingement cooling continues to progress.

Her research topic is still being developed, but we expect her to do amazing work that will contribute to her field. Cayley is deeply honoured to be a recipient of the SAGE Award and is excited that there are Indigenous awards available for all kinds of academic pursuits. Cayley wanted to share that her indigenous ancestry comes from her grandmother. It has taken decades of racism and discrimination that her grandmother and father had to face for Cayley to be recognized as an Indigenous woman of the Tk’emlups to Secwepemc band. She is happy that Toronto Metropolitan University is taking steps to become more inclusive of indigenous ancestry and the challenges it presents indigenous women within modern times.

Sam Howden
Sam Howden (they/them), Social Work MSW

Sam Howden is the Coordinator, Indigenous Pedagogies at the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre at the University of Toronto (Mississauga). In their role, Sam supports and promotes Indigenous ways of knowing and decolonization of curriculum.

Sam socially locates themselves as a 2S, Queer, Pan, Mad, Métis Graduate Social Work student. Sam’s major research at Toronto Metropolitan University focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty, land defence, water protection, and cultural revitalization practices which occur in urban environments. This research and the focus of Sam's work is rooted in Anti-colonialism, Anti-Racism, and Disability Justice.

Sam is a passionate advocate for all folks who experience oppression, sexism, discrimination, and racism. Their efforts in Toronto as a co-founder of  the Wreckonciliation group had both local (hence the newly named TMU) and national implications. Born a Red River Metis, Sam’s vision for change far exceeds the boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area. Their work is focused upon improving the lives of all persons everywhere who have been subordinated by those of power and privilege. they appreciate that we as people are all global citizens with a shared responsibility to honour Mother Earth by creating safer, kinder and more responsive systems for all.