About Our Scholarship Fund
At Cheekbone Beauty, giving back is at the core of everything that we do – whether we are giving back to people through monetary, product or project-focused donations, or to planet through our vegan, sustainable cosmetics and B.Corp certification. Our aim is to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth.
Before the launch of Cheekbone Beauty in 2016, Jenn had a dream that changed her life in 2015. This dream entailed these little Native girls laughing and playing, covered in lip gloss, exuding pure joy despite having made a complete mess of themselves. This dream made Jenn jump out of bed in the middle of the night and she began drafting what is now known as the Cheekbone Beauty business plan.
The one thing from this business plan that truly demonstrates the power of manifestation is that Jenn had written down that she would start a scholarship fund in her grandmother’s name. Jenn’s grandmother, Emily Paul, was a residential school survivor. The residential school in Canada was organized by the Canadian Government. The goal of these schools was to assimilate Indigenous children into dominant “Canadian” culture, based heavily on the Eurocentric ideologies of the settlers – this included the separation of children from their parents and siblings, forbidding children to speak their respective languages or acknowledging their heritage and culture.
The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996 but the effects continue to linger. Many Indigenous communities continue to experience intergenerational trauma rooted in the practices of residential schools, but the educational gap from these harmful practices has never resolved either. According to the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario, only 11% of Ontario’s entire Indigenous population has a university degree. Further, the United Nations has also commented on the educational funding gap that Indigenous communities experience and has stated that one way to understand the educational gap is that it is deeply rooted in a lack of respect and a lack of resources from those who can truly close the gap.
Cheekbone Beauty launched its first ever Scholarship Fund in 2021. Our recipient, Jodi Hancheroff, used these funds to assist her during her third and final year of law school in Saskatoon, SK. Now, as we prepare to launch our second Scholarship Fund, Jodi has started a new position with a law firm in Saskatoon, where she focuses on Aboriginal law. Jodi said that she chose this field to help her community navigate the institutions that were put in place to work against Indigenous peoples and giving a voice to those who have been silenced.
Figure 1- Jodi Hancheroff
Reconciliation is about building healthy relationships with Indigenous communities.
On September 30th, 2022, we will be launching our second Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund. September 30th, known as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, or Orange Shirt Day, is a very important day for us to launch. Orange Shirt Day was created to recognize the harm of the residential school system in Canada and was inspired by Phyllis Jack Webstad, a residential school survivor. The story of the orange shirt is that Phyllis’s granny had taken her shopping before she had to leave for “school.” Though they didn’t have much money, Phyllis’s granny managed to purchase a brand-new orange t-shirt that Phyllis would wear on her first day. When she arrived at the school, her clothing was taken from her, including the orange shirt that was never to be seen again. From that point on, a young Phyllis associated the colour orange with feelings of worthlessness. Phyllis has since gone to a treatment centre for healing where she has reclaimed the colour orange and is now the Founder of the Orange Shirt Society. Phyllis has since gone on to earn a diploma in Business Administration and Accounting, publish two books titled Orange Shirt Story and Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, and tours the country to tell her story to raise awareness about the lingering effects of the residential school system.
Figure 2- Phyllis Jack Webstad
The Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund is so important to us as an organization. It serves as a helpful tool for the Indigenous community, so that they may receive assistance in their education journey.
This year, we have decided that we will contribute two $2,500 scholarships to community. The funds will be allocated to Indigenous students from a Canadian or U.S post-secondary institution in any area of study. Our Scholarship Fund applications will go live on our website on September 30th, 2022, at 9:00 AM EST. The two winners will be announced at the end of the year.
At Cheekbone Beauty, we are so proud to be able to do these things for our community. It is all thanks to you, our loyal customers, who help us make our dreams of building an equitable future for Indigenous youth possible.