Sarah Abbott receives Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
Sarah is the first student at Royal Roads University to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes academic excellence, research potential and leadership. In February 2014, Sarah began work toward an interdisciplinary doctorate degree in social sciences at Royal Roads.
Using public ethnography and Indigenous research methodology to guide her research with trees and tree knowers, Sarah is examining the conscious awareness, intelligence and moral status of trees as much as possible from trees’ points of view in order to transcend traditional scientific knowledge that views trees and nature as mechanistic rather than ontologically emergent entities responsive to and interactive with the world around them. Sharing her research through production of a film, Sarah will work with Indigenous, ancient and scientific knowledge of trees and nature to deepen awareness of nonhuman and human interconnection, and environmental empathy.
Sarah developed and led the Engaging Media and Indigenous Youth project (EMIY) in 2013. EMIY used Indigenous film and video as a springboard to engage with Indigenous youth on issues of media literacy and Indigenous culture, to develop knowledge and skills in media awareness, Indigenous filmmaking, communication and critical thinking.
Watch the 13-minute video about EMIY on YouTube.
EMIY consisted of eight two-hour weekly classes for young adults participating in the Road to Employment program at the Rainbow Youth Centre in North Central Regina. The grant for this project, from the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Creative Partnerships program, provided homemade hot lunches for the students after each class as well as fees for guest speakers and films screened. Big thanks to Dwayne Beaver for donating his speaking fee back to the Rainbow Youth Centre! And to Candy Fox and Matt Yim for assisting with the classes, documentation and editing of the EMIY video.
Check out the film trailer!
This Time Last Winter: The Making Of The short documentary about the making of This Time Last Winter, edited by Matt Yim.
Outtakes, shot by Sarah for the film she directed, In the Minds of All Beings: Tsogyal Latso of Tibet, appear in a short video edited by Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo through Jnanasukha, the film's producer. Two Minutes at Tsogyal Latso in 2010 is part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness and funds for the sacred site of Tsogyal Latso in Tibet - the birthplace of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal: the small group of nuns living there, and construction of a new temple. To date, approximately $50,000 USD have been raised.
Arts and Learning Award
Sarah is the 2012 recipient of the Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Learning, in recognition of her filmmaking endeavors, innovative teaching methods, strong work ethic, ability to bridge cultures, commitment to empowering people and passion for communicating hard-hitting issues. Sarah is widely respected for her ambitious film projects, including Out In The Cold and This Time Last Winter, both of which have had far-reaching impacts on communities across Saskatchewan.
The Arts and Learning Award recognizes arts educators for excellence and innovation through their demonstrated commitment to arts education, innovative approaches to instruction, involvement in creative partnerships with artists or arts organizations, and/or engaging students in unique and challenging explorations of contemporary ideas through the arts.
Sarah Abbott's acceptance speech
Saskatchewan Arts Board announcement of recipients
University of Regina homepage announcement
Award recipient press release
Award shortlist press release
Award for Innovation in the Arts
Sarah received the 2009 Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Award for Innovation in the Arts for her production of Out In The Cold in recognition of the film’s connection to a wide range of community sectors through its educational process, community outreach and social awareness. Read the University of Regina press release.