Table of contents

Overview

Several post-secondary institutions provide resources and supports for Indigenous students, including financial assistance.

Visit your institution’s website to learn more about what supports may be available.

Indigenous adult learning providers

Indigenous adult learning providers offer culturally informed adult and post-secondary learning opportunities in an Indigenous context.

Find out more about Indigenous adult learning providers in Alberta.

Funding support

Student loans and grants

A variety of financial supports are available to Indigenous learners. When you apply for Alberta student loans, you’re also automatically considered for provincial and federal grants. You’re only able to access many of these grants if you apply for Alberta student aid.

Band funding

If you’re a Band member of a First Nation, you may be eligible for federal funding, administered through your Band office, to help you pay for your education. Here’s how to get started:

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries can help reduce the overall cost of your education. Your post-secondary institution may also offer scholarships. Talk to their financial aid office for details.

Other opportunities include:

  • Advancing Futures Bursary Program: helps youth aged 18-24 who have been or continue to be in the care or custody of Children and Youth Services.
  • Alberta Blue Cross: students who have demonstrated community involvement, achievement of their personal goals, and financial need may apply for a scholarship worth up to $1500. There are awards available for students entering post-secondary from high school, as well as for mature post-secondary students.
  • Alberta scholarships: a listing of scholarships, bursaries and awards in Alberta.
  • Belcourt-Brosseau Métis Awards: the largest non-governmental source of student funding for Métis students in Canada.
  • First Nation, Metis and Inuit Bursary: the Northern Alberta Development Council (NADC) offers a bursary for students in a variety of fields of study who are willing to work within the NADC area after they complete their schooling.
  • First Nations Training to Employment Program (FNTEP): supports the development of partnerships to create training and work experience projects that lead to employment for First Nations members.
  • Indigenous bursaries search tool: a searchable list of more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada.
  • Indigenous Careers Award: valued at $2,000 per semester up to $4,000 per academic year to encourage Indigenous peoples living in Alberta to pursue and complete post-secondary studies in certificate, diploma, applied degree and bachelor’s degree programs.
  • Indspire: the largest non-governmental funding body for First Nations, Inuit and Métis post-secondary students across Canada.
  • Scholarships Canada a database of scholarship and bursary opportunities across the country.
  • Windspeaker and Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) Scholarship Guide: an extensive list of scholarships and bursaries available to Indigenous students.

What you need to apply

When you apply for a scholarship or bursary, you may be asked to provide:

  • proof of ancestry
  • proof of dependents (if you have any)
  • introduction letter explaining who you are and what you are studying
  • supporting documents, such as:
    • recent transcripts
    • letters of support from community leaders and elders
    • photos of any awards you’ve won

On campus supports

Most institutions that receive government funding provide supports you can access on campus:

If you’re attending a different type of institution, please contact them directly to find out what types of supports they may provide.

You can also read about this Learning Clicks Ambassador’s experience as an Indigenous student, and the supports he received that helped him succeed in post-secondary.

Community supports

If your adult learning provider does not provide supports specific to Indigenous students, your municipality might be able to help you find community resources. Examples include:

Check with your town or city hall office for more information. You could also visit your municipality’s website and type “Indigenous” in their website search tool.

Transition supports

Transition supports can help if you:

  • don’t meet admission requirements for your program of choice
  • need help adjusting to post-secondary life
  • benefit from supports that apply a cultural focus to your learning

Ask the post-secondary institutions offering programs you’re interested in if they offer transition supports.

Your institution’s staff can help you build a learner pathway that guides you through where your learning is at now, to post-secondary study. You can also explore pathway options through Transfer Alberta.

Other transition supports can help you prepare for and adjust to campus life. For example, your post-secondary institution may offer a campus tour to help you:

  • find your way around campus
  • learn about support services and how to find them
  • meet other Indigenous students
  • talk to faculty or staff

Contact your post-secondary institution of choice for details.

Contact

Connect with the Public Awareness Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-643-6393
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-1263
Email: [email protected]