The Métis Education Foundation was established in 1991 by the Métis Nation of Alberta to assist, encourage and support Métis students wishing to pursue full time post secondary studies. The Foundation has grown over the years and currently holds 11 endowments with post-secondary partners throughout the Province of Alberta.
“These partners,” explained Rupertsland Institute Stewardship Coordinator Lisa Savill, “include the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Grant McEwan University, Athabasca University, Mount Royal University, the University of Lethbridge, Norquest College, Portage College, Grande Prairie Regional College, Lethbridge College and NAIT.”
Since 2008 the Rupertsland Institute has contributed approximately $7.5 million to the Métis Education Foundation. An additional $7.5 million in matching contributions has been leveraged via its post-secondary partners, bringing the total amount of contributions to $15 million.
“Since 2009,” noted Savill, “the total number of disbursements from these endowments has enabled 392 Métis scholars province-wide to pursue their academic goals. Métis students interested in pursuing or who are currently engaged in post-secondary education are welcome to contact us for more information. The Rupertsland Institute is currently offering Métis Scholar Awards at each of our partnering universities and colleges.”
To qualify, students must meet the following criteria, in addition to any specific criteria listed by their school of choice. Applicants must be Canadian citizens; enrolled in full time studies (as defined by your institution); you must demonstrate financial need (in most cases); hold a minimum GPA (this differs across institutions) with preference generally given to those with a higher academic standing; and you must provide valid proof of Métis ancestry.
To qualify for these awards, students must not be receiving a Rupertsland Institute Métis Training to Employment Services sponsorship nor hold Registered or Treaty Indian status under Canada’s Indian Act.
The scholarship award amounts vary from learning institute to institute. For instance, the awards via Grant MacEwan University vary from $1500 to $4000, depending on the certificate, diploma or undergraduate degree being pursued by the student. To be eligible for an award, applicants must be enrolled full-time in any certificate, diploma, applied undergraduate degree, or undergraduate degree program at MacEwan University; demonstrate financial need; provide proof of Métis heritage and have attained a minimum GPA of 2.3 in the previous fall semester.
The University of Lethbridge has the same criteria but the scholarship awards range from a minimum of $2500 for undergraduate studies to a minimum of $10,000 for graduate degrees. The university offers at least six undergraduate and one graduate degree award each year.
The University of Alberta typically offers 13 awards in three different awards categories. The first of these is the Métis Education Foundation Métis Scholar Award (one award, up to $20,000; consideration will only be given to University of Alberta students enrolled in a graduate program or entering the fourth year of study for any undergraduate degree program). The second is the Métis Education Foundation Professional Studies award, which varies up to $10,000. Consideration will only be given to university of Alberta students enrolled in the second, third, or fourth year of study in any professional undergraduate degree program with differential fees. The third category, Métis Education Foundation undergraduate awards vary up to $5,000 and consideration is only given to University of Alberta students enrolled in the second or third year of study for any undergraduate degree program.
To learn more about the different scholarship awards and about the criteria set down by each of the 11 partnering universities and colleges contact the Rupertsland Institute Métis Training To Employment Service offices in Edmonton at 780-801-9977 or toll free 1-888-486-3847. To learn more about the partnering educators see the website at: www.rupertsland.org/education/
A full listing of the Institute’s office locations across Alberta can be found at www.metisemployment.ca.
The Rupertsland Institute is an incorporated non-profit (Section 9) company under the Alberta Companies Act, and is governed by a professional Board of Governors comprised of representatives from the Métis business community, the University of Alberta, other academia, industry, and the MNA Provincial Council.
by John Copley