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This article was published 14/12/2009 (2753 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SHELLEY Cook has been chosen as the first recipient of the John W. Dafoe Free Press scholarship for aboriginal students.
As part of the award, the Creative Communications student at Red River College will serve an internship in the Free Press newsroom where she will hone her craft under the direction of a mentoring reporter and editors.
"We're really pleased to have a scholarship that encourages young aboriginal writers," said Free Press editor Margo Goodhand.
"This is the first of its kind for the Winnipeg Free Press, and will help us develop a stronger First Nations voice. It's imperative that this paper better reflect the community it serves."
Cook said she has always loved writing and wants the opportunity to be able to share ideas and perspectives with the kind of audience that the Free Press delivers.
"It's like a dream come true," Cook said.
"I always wanted to do this and the fact that I am here is kind of surreal."
Cook said her previous studies at the University of Winnipeg have shown her how important education is to the future of aboriginals.
And, Cook says, the fact she also has Icelandic blood mixed with her Ojibwe roots will help her as she moves forward in her reporting career.
"Just being able to have both perspectives means I can bridge a gap through my writing," she said.
John W. Dafoe was editor of the Winnipeg Free Press from 1901 to 1944. During his long and legendary term -- Dafoe was the most influential journalist of his time -- he was a staunch liberal, fighting for equal rights for all.
"I like to think that he in particular would be pleased with this scholarship," Goodhand said.