November 29, 2023

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The Regina campus of First Nations University | Image source:

This is the time of year when students start applying to postsecondary institutions and asking the question: How will I get this paid for? While there are many ways to do this via student loans, bank loans, band funding, and by saving money – securing scholarship money is very beneficial because you don’t have to pay it back and they recognize your accomplishments and strengths, however they remain highly underutilized. MUSKRAT Magazine has compiled a list of scholarships, bursaries and resources available for Aboriginal students.

1. Aboriginal Bursary Search Tool

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada has created a helpful search tool that lists many the scholarships/bursaries which Aboriginal students can apply to while completing their studies across Canada.

2. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society

Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an independent Aboriginal communications organization that provides coverage on Aboriginal news. They have compiled a comprehensive list of scholarships and organized them by provinces for students to apply for.

3. Aboriginal Learning Links

Aboriginal Learning Links is a website resource for Aboriginal students planning on completing their postsecondary studies in British Columbia. They list many scholarships available, like the Irving K. Barber British Columbia awards scholarships up to $5000.

4. Alberta Provincial Government

The Province of Alberta offers the Aboriginal Health Careers Bursary to students enrolled in health related studies with the goal to increase the number of Aboriginal people working in Alberta’s health system. The deadline to apply is May 1.

5. Business Council of Manitoba

The Business Council of Manitoba works with the provincial government to award scholarships to Aboriginal students. Students who are enrolled a postsecondary institution within the province for full time studies in any discipline qualify. Deadline is March 31.

6. Canada Post

Canada Post offers scholarships to students who have been out of school for over a year; returned and completed one year of studies; and has never received this award before. The deadline to apply is pending.

7. Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous led charity that is the largest funder to Indigenous education outside of the federal government. They offer scholarships to Aboriginal students across Canada, studying various subjects, including art, sciences, media, trades, and finance. They offer one to students studying the fine arts with deadlines on February 15, June 1, and November 1 of this year.

Aboriginal students learning from Elders and leaders at Trent University
Aboriginal leaders and elders teach students at Trent University | Image

8. RBC-Aboriginal Student Awards

Launched in 1992 to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal people, the Royal Bank of Canada offers scholarships to students studying in disciplines related to the financial industry. The deadline to apply is February 28th.

9. Ted Nolan Foundation

Former professional hockey player Ted Nolan established the Rose Nolan Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after his mother, for Aboriginal women who are returning to post secondary studies full time after completing their first year. Application deadline is pending.

10. TransAlta

TransAlta is one of the first power generating companies to make significant contributions to wind energy. They offer seven bursaries up to $3000 for Aboriginal students in full time post-secondary studies and three $1000 bursaries for students in the trades. The annual deadline to apply is September 15.

11. Ontario Clean Water Agency

OCWA is a an organization that provides safe and reliable water and wastewater management services across municipalities, businesses and institutions across Ontario, including First Nations communities. The scholarship they award one scholarship of $2,500 with a co-op placement each year to an Aboriginal student in environmental studies.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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