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Ottawa Catholic School Board: Wilfred Rivers, an 18 year old graduating from Immaculata High School is the 2013 recipient of the Bill Messenger Memorial Bursary, awarded by the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres to support young urban Aboriginal men wishing to pursue their education after high school.

He will be continuing his studies in the Cabinetmaking and Furniture Technician Program at Algonquin College in the fall and plans to use his $3,000 award to pay for his program helping him on his path to becoming a carpenter.

Growing up, Wilfred was intimately aware of the housing problems faced by his family and his community, and wants to give back to his nation by building and rebuilding homes that are safe to live in for generations to come.

The Odawa Native Friendship Centre has made him appreciate the life that he has, and has motivated him to share his life with others in his community. He has been a volunteer with the Odawa Native Friendship Centre for nearly two years with the Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin: I Am a Kind Man Initiative, and the Wasa-Nabin: Urban Aboriginal Youth Program as a peer mentor. He is grateful for the teachings that have been shared with him by the Elders at the Friendship Centre. Well done Wilfred, and best of luck in your future studies!

Article and photo courtesy of Anishinabek News