Indigenous Circle of Empowerment (ICE)


The Indigenous Circle of Empowerment (ICE) is a student leadership development program rooted in culture and focused on self-development and community engagement. ICE is for Indigenous students who demonstrate drive, determination and leadership.

Why should I apply?

In ICE, you will have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills, connect with your culture, discover your strengths, expand your network, volunteer in the community with other students and work on impactful projects. There is no cost to participate in the program.

One hundred per cent of the ICE participants from 2017/2018 and 2018/2019:

  •  believe participating in the ICE program was a valuable experience
  •  agree ICE helped their development as a leader and they feel more confident when taking on a new challenge/role/position
  • agree ICE met or exceeded their expectations
  •  would recommend ICE to others

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To apply to become a member of ICE, you must:

  • be an Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) student in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 2.5)
  •  have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework
  •  maintain 60 per cent of a full course load (minimum)

What kind of commitment is needed?

We expect ICE members to:

  •  attend bi-weekly meetings
  • volunteer with a community organization
  • complete Speechcraft public speaking training (not required if you have already completed Speechcraft training)
  • work on a term project as part of a group
  •  be open-minded, inclusive, respectful and responsible
  •  bring a positive attitude to all meetings and events 

How can I apply for ICE?

We are currently accepting applications for the 2019/2020 academic year!

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is September 16 annually

We will start accepting applications for ICE 2020-2021 starting in June 2020. A link to the online application form will appear on this page when the application process opens.

 What students are saying about ICE

Here's what former ICE members have to say about their experiences in the program:

"ICE has significantly increased my confidence in all aspects of life. It has allowed me to strengthen both my personal identity and my Indigenous identity, and now I have a greater understanding of my purpose in life. ICE has given me the opportunity to meet life-long friends, connect with inspirational leaders in the community, increase my communication skills and to travel. It is a comforting and safe place to retreat when life gets overwhelming," -Gabrielle Wilson (recent Faculty of Science graduate, accepted into the Doctor of Medicine program in the Max Rady College of Medicine)

"Being a part of ICE has been an amazing experience. Not only have I grown as a leader in so many ways through meeting and learning from other Indigenous leaders in my community, but I have also been able to connect with my Indigenous culture even further. This program is great for Indigenous students that are looking for ways to get involved in the community on campus and meet other leaders that empower them." -Gillian McIvor (student, Faculty of Science)

"I LOVE I.C.E.! This program has helped develop my leadership skills, alongside some of the most incredible individuals I have met on campus. My favourite memories are rooted in the many opportunities afforded to us: attending sweats, learning about culture, volunteering, meeting the mayor, learning from phenomenal guest speakers, practicing public speaking and off-campus team-building fun. I even got to travel to Montreal in 2017 and Ottawa in 2018 to attend meaningful conferences in my field of study. This circle encourages, inspires, and gently pushes us to be our very best. I'm greatful to be a part of it." -Charlene Hallett (student, Family Social Sciences Program)

"The Indigenous Circle of Empowerment provides a safe space on campus to excel. Space where you are surrounded by driven, successful Indigenous students striving to improve not only their lives but also the lives of others. The collective lifts each other up by providing support and celebrating accomplishments. Each meeting, we grow as individuals while making connections in industry, politics and the academy. I have thoroughly enjoyed both of the years I have been involved in ICE and look forward to years to come." -Laura Forsythe (Master of Arts, department of Native Studies)

For more information about ICE, please contact:

Dr. Justin Rasmussen

Indigenous Student Centre

114 Sidney Smith Street (Migizii Agamik - Bald Eagle Lodge)


Phone: 204-230-2504




3rd Annual Bannock and Backpacks Campaign

Thank you, Miigwech, Ekosani, Pidamaya do, Mąsi chok, Marsi, Merci!

We would like to thank everyone that donated to the 3rd Annual Bannock and Backpacks campaign. In total, over 100 backpacks filled with essential supplies were handed out to people in Winnipeg experiencing homelessness.








ICE News:

August 2019: Article about ICE in UMToday!

April 2019: Reanna Merasty, Tom Roberts, Gillian McIvor, Brendan Wood, Anita Murdock, and Kayla Lariviere, ICE members, receive 2019 Emerging Leader Awards

April 2019: ICE members Kirsten Fleury and Brandon Wozniak elected as Co-Presidents of the Métis University Students' Association

March 2019: Kayla Lariviere, ICE member, selected for Daughters of the Vote 2019

March 2019: Ashley Hayward and Gillian McIvor, ICE members, receive U of M Indigenous Awards of Excellence 

March 2019: Ashley Hayward, ICE member, receives Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship 

September 2018: Taylor Morriseau, ICE alumna, wins Vanier Scholarship

March 2018: Carly McLennan, ICE alumna, wins an Indigenous Student Award of Excellence, Trailblazer Award

November 2017: Chelsey Meade, ICE alumna, wins Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (aged 16-25) award presented by the Manitoba chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals

July 2017: Taylor Morriseau and Mihskakwan James Harper featured in article showcasing the success of Indigenous students at the University of Manitoba

April 2017: Indigenous Circle of Empowerment wraps up successful year with a President's Reception

March 2017: ICE meets with Mayor Brian Bowman

March 2017: The community comes together to provide 90+ backpacks filled with supplies at Got Bannock event, an initiative led by ICE

January 2017: UMToday: Indigenous U of M students chosen to represent federal ridings for Daughters of the Vote

December 2016 - Largest cohort yet for ICE - Indigenous Connect Newsletter

September 2016 - ICE member Mishskakwan James Harper participates in 2016 International Human Rights Summit at the United Nations Headquarters, New York

June 2016 - ICE in the Indigenous Connect newsletter

March 29, 2016 - Shaw: Bannock and Backpacks

March 14, 2016 - U of M Indigenous leadership group fills backpacks for homeless : Campus News