Western has established additional support for Indigenous students through a partnership with Indspire, an Indigenous-led national charity that invests in the education of Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
The Western University Indigenous Student Bursaries will be distributed annually and are available to students who demonstrate financial need.
Indspire will manage and distribute the awards through its Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program, which leverages matching funds from the Government of Canada. The government match nearly doubles Western’s $500,000 investment over the next five years.
Bursaries of $4,000 will be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students in any field of study, with engineering students receiving bursaries of $8,000.
Supporting the enrolment and success of more Indigenous students is a priority for Western in response to Western’s first Indigenous Strategic Plan, which recommended improved financial support to enhance recruitment and retention efforts.
“Indigenous students face complex and often compounded barriers in accessing and completing their education, with the lack of financial resources cited as the number one reason they are unable to complete postsecondary studies,” said Candace Brunette-Debassige, acting vice-provost and associate vice-president (Indigenous Initiatives). “The university’s investment and Indspire’s ability to match funds is a move in the right direction in helping reduce barriers faced by Indigenous students.”
“I am pleased that with this partnership, Western, my alma mater, is taking a significant step in supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to achieve their potential through education. This investment has the potential to transform not only the lives of these individuals, but also their families, communities and Canada,” said outgoing President and CEO of Indspire, Roberta Jamieson, LLB’76, LLD’93.
The next application deadline for the bursaries is February 1, 2021. Those interested should apply for the bursaries directly through the Indspire website.