In honour of Janine Rae Jackson “Shining White Bear”

In honour of Janine Rae Jackson “Shining White Bear”

Janine, a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation, was born and raised in Northern Alberta. She got her Cree spirit name, Wapi-Muskwa-Kawasut, Shining White Bear, in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony.  At the time of her passing, she was working on her Indigenous Studies Master’s Degree. Her posthumous degree was granted on October 14, 2023. Janine excelled in her studies at the University of Lethbridge and was on the Dean’s Honor Roll six times. She also impacted many lives at the University and substituted for one of her favourite Professors. Prior to her studies at the U of L, Janine graduated from Culinary Studies as a Red Seal Chef and became the top apprentice in Alberta. Throughout her years in education, which began at Red Deer College and then at Lethbridge College, she eventually found her passion in Indigenous Studies at the University of Lethbridge.

Janine was employed in a Family Centre during her last year of studies, where she worked with families. She met many Elders that she counted on to help her provide optimal family support and took pride in learning about the Blackfoot history and culture. Janine proudly called the Elders her “Knowledge Keepers”. She positively impacted many families and agencies during her time at the Family Centre.

Janine was compassionate and loved to help anyone; she was a voracious volunteer who took the time to help people in difficult or homeless situations. Understanding the struggles and financial hardships from her personal experiences throughout her many years as a student, it is only fitting that she would pass on the love and compassion for others to continue with their education. In her bio, one of her quotes reads, “First and foremost, stay ahead of readings, assignments and studying as it is easy to fall behind. Always attend class for an optimal learning experience and be present. Do not procrastinate and ALWAYS take the time to apply for scholarships.”


This scholarship was established by Janine’s parents and three siblings, to help indigenous students who face financial hardships but continue to have the determination to achieve their academic goals.