University of Saskatchewan

September 19, 2014   

Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship 2011-12 Recipients Announced

Sara McPhee-Knowles
May 31, 2011

The Government of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan have selected the 2011-12 recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship and the Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Aboriginal Scholarship.

Each scholarship of $20,000 is awarded annually on the basis of academic excellence to one student or split between outstanding candidates, who are pursuing graduate or post-graduate studies at any accredited university in Saskatchewan.

"Our government is committed to providing students with opportunities and access to diverse and dynamic academic experiences," Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said. "I extend my congratulations to the three recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships and look forward to the contributions their research will make to our knowledge economy."

The Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship will be awarded to:

  • Ms. Sara McPhee-Knowles who is pursuing post-graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Ms. McPhee-Knowles' research will focus on food safety. Her work will aid in understanding the contribution of systemic risk, as opposed to behavioural risk, to Type I and Type II errors in the food safety system.

The Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Aboriginal Scholarship will be split between two outstanding students:

  • Ms. Omeasoo Butt who is pursuing post-graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan and is tracing the history of housing in two indigenous communities, and showing that homes speak volumes about the way people think, express their values and live their lives.
  • Cassandra Opikokew is pursuing graduate studies at the University of Regina to develop effective policies that close the education gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal post-secondary students in Saskatchewan, recognizing Canada's colonial legacy, including residential schools and treaty rights, while using Indigenous definitions of success that assert cultural identity.

Both Cassandra and Sara are students in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; a unique partnership between our provincial universities offering advanced education, research, outreach and training in policy and administration.

"We are very proud of the achievements of these outstanding graduate students whose work in areas of Aboriginal scholarship and public policy will benefit communities in Saskatchewan and across Canada," University of Saskatchewan Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Dr. Lawrence Martz said. "Their success exemplifies the top-quality research talent at the U of S where graduate student enrolment has increased by 60 per cent over the past decade, helping to drive the province's knowledge-based economy."

"We are delighted and proud that Cassandra has been awarded this prestigious scholarship to study such an important issue," University of Regina Acting Vice-President Research, Dr. Rod Kelln said. "This is another example of how research at the University of Regina is benefitting the communities it serves."

The Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship is intended to encourage advanced study and research in Saskatchewan's government and politics. The Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Aboriginal Scholarship is awarded to a First Nations/Métis student and preference is given to students who have attended or are graduating from the First Nations University of Canada.

To learn more about the scholarship, contact Student Financial Assistance at 1-800-597-8278 or visit


For more information, contact:

Marieka Barrie
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration
Phone: 306-798-3170

Dale Johnson
University of Regina
Phone: 306-585-5439

Rate This Story

Score: 2.76/5 (364 ratings)

Attached Files

Click to Download File Backgrounder