TORONTO, Nov. 2016 /CNW/ – Indspire is pleased to announce that the Government of Alberta has renewed its commitment to the Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program in support of Indigenous education for students from Alberta. The Alberta Indigenous Student Awards, totaling $400,000 over the next two years, are bursaries and scholarships that can be applied to any university, college or trade school in Canada, with an expected average of $5,000 per application.
The Alberta Indigenous Student Awards are also available to Indigenous students enrolled in Alberta’s First Nations Colleges, in a range of programming, including Indigenous Language and Culture programs, and Teaching /Education Training programs.
The Government of Alberta’s contribution to Indspire’s bursary program will be matched by the federal government, allowing for even more Indigenous students from Alberta to benefit.
“The Alberta Indigenous Student Awards have the potential to create a deep and wide-ranging impact on the lives of Indigenous students in Alberta,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “It is heartening to see the scale of commitment to Indigenous education by the Minister of Advanced Education.”
“I’m proud to support the Alberta Indigenous Student Awards, along with our Indigenous Awards, supporting students studying in high-demand career fields and graduate programs, because both will help prepare Indigenous students for success by providing better access to educational opportunities that will improve quality of life and strengthen communities,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education.
Statistics Canada reports that only 10% of Indigenous students graduate from university, compared to 27% of non-Indigenous students. Research conducted by Indspire shows that lack of financial resources is the number one barrier for Indigenous students in completing their post-secondary education.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous peoples for the long term benefit of learners, families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the Indspire Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success rates for Indigenous youth.
In 2015-16, Indspire awarded over $12.2 million through 3,792 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students, making it the largest funder of Indigenous education apart from the federal government. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous peoples and that is broadcast nationally.