The Scoop On Indigenous Student...

The Scoop On Indigenous Student Scholarships Today

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Getting an education can help people find good jobs and even a purpose in life. Paying for courses can be difficult, but financial aid can help. For Indigenous students, special scholarships can be useful for getting an education.

Various organizations offer scholarships for Indigenous students going into post-secondary programs. Indspire, formerly called the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, has information on scholarships available across Canada for students entering programs at colleges and universities, including trades, health careers, and more.

For high school students planning on going to university, one option is the Indspire Star Scholarship for Business/Engineering. Students should have average grades of at least 75-80% and be involved in campus clubs and other organizations. The student who wins this scholarship can receive $5000 per year for four years if the funding is renewed.

This is only one of the scholarships available to Indigenous students. The Irving K. Barber Indigenous Awards are available to all Indigenous students, and the New Relationship Trust Scholarships and Bursaries are open to all Indigenous students from British Columbia.

Each province or territory has its own awards for students, available for studies in that region. For example, the Winnipeg School Division has a number of scholarships for Indigenous students, and Manitoba Hydro has awards that include the Science Fair Award and the First Year Information Technology bursary. Often, companies like these have opportunities for students to receive large or small amounts of money to go towards their tuition or other expenses.

The different levels of government and crown corporations are also good sources of funding for post-secondary schooling. Often, governments have scholarships designated for students who have achieved a certain level of marks or who are planning on going into certain fields. Canada Post is also a good place to check for scholarships, as well as other government-related organizations.

Bursaries are usually smaller than scholarships, and they are available only once for each student, while scholarships might run over several years. Often, people establish bursaries to honour someone, such as with the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation Bursaries or the Tim McLean Memorial Bursary. These awards might be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more.

Finding a scholarship might take some time, but it can be worth the effort. Receiving even a few hundred dollars might make the difference between struggling for food and eating well, or between having to take a second evening job or being able to stay home to study.

However, it is important to know the requirements of each scholarship. Many of them are at least partly based on grades in school, and it is important to study hard. However, the people who fund the scholarships also want to know that the recipients also have other good qualities, such as helpfulness and kindness. If you are Indigenous, you can already start to develop the academic and personal qualities that will help you get the scholarship you want.


Aboriginal Learning Links. “Scholarships/Bursaries.” http://aboriginallearning.ca/scholarshipsbursaries/.

Government of Canada. “Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool.” https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1351185180120/1351685455328.

Indspire. “Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards.” https://indspirefunding.ca/.

Indspire. “The Indspire Star Scholarship for Business/Engineering.” https://indspirefunding.ca/indspire-star-scholarship/.

University of Toronto. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. “Scholarships and Bursaries for Indigenous Students.” https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/ien/Scholarships_and_Bursaries.html.

Winnipeg School Division. “Indigenous Student Scholarships.”  https://www.winnipegsd.ca/students/studentinformation/financial-help/scholarships/aboriginal-student-scholarships/Pages/Default.aspx.

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