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Two incoming Indigenous MPH students awarded Indigenous Graduate Fellowship

Jun 14, 2024 |

We are thrilled to announce Nicole Jules and Junelle Knihniski, the incoming Indigenous students of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, as the recipients of the prestigious Indigenous Graduate Fellowship (IGF). For the first time this year, UBC has extended this opportunity to Indigenous students in professional programs.  

The IGF, awarded based on academic merit, is part of an annual competition managed by the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The fellowship provides a stipend of $17,500 per year and covers standard tuition fees. Master’s students will receive fellowship funding for up to two years.  

Indigenous Graduate Fellowship awardees:  

Nicole Jules (BHK, she/her) Weykt, Nicole is Secwepemc & Nlaka’pamux. She grew up in Cstelnec, otherwise known as Adams Lake, in Secwepemc territory. She received her Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia- Okanagan Campus in 2022. Following graduation, she started her career in public health, working at the First Nations Health Authority Office of the Chief Medical Officer, where she worked on different cultural safety and humility projects and women’s health. She works at the BC Office of the Provincial Health Officer on various areas within the Unlearning and Undoing White Supremacy and Indigenous-Specific Racism Project. She fosters an environment of cultural safety and humility, anti-racism, and trustworthiness with love and care.  She will start her Master of Public Health at UBC in September. She has a passion, motivation, and dedication to Indigenous Public Health.  Nicole looks forward to further developing her skills and knowledge at SPPH to make a meaningful impact and courageous change in Indigenous Public Health.   


Junelle Knihniski (she/her) is of Cree, Métis and mixed European background from Treaty 6 territory and a member of Peter Chapman Band (currently amalgamated with James Smith Cree Nation). Her academic interests align with advancing reconciliation, particularly in the fields of Indigenous child welfare, and urban Indigenous and Women + wellness. Junelle is passionate about empowering communities and fostering participation,  serving as a committee member for the SFU First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Association’s 2nd Annual Honouring Indigenous Student Powwow. Through her work, Junelle wants to center Indigenous pedagogies and conceptualization of wellness in the field of public health and broader political environments, particularly in areas of policy development and advocacy. In her undergraduate Health Sciences degree at Simon Fraser University, Junelle was actively involved with the FentaNIL Project SFU, educating students about harm reduction and the toxic drug crisis.  Junelle currently works at the First Nations Health Authority,  which serves as a health & wellness partner to 200 diverse First Nations communities and citizens across BC.  In her spare time, Junelle enjoys cooking, reading and trivia.   

Congratulations to Nicole and Junelle on this outstanding achievement!