Information for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners
Use these resources to help plan your post-secondary journey and support you while you are at school.
Learn from the experiences of Indigenous students who transitioned from a community-based education setting to a more urban public post-secondary institution. Follow stepping stones from exploring your interests, to practical concerns such as finding affordable housing and transitioning back into the community.
Aboriginal Learning Links provides resources for First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners wishing to pursue or continue college or university (post-secondary) studies in British Columbia.
B.C.'s Career Guide for Indigenous People provides practical tools and activities, information and many resources to explore values, skills and careers that fit.
Guiding Your Education Journey – FNESC's handbook for First Nations parents and students (PDF) includes tools and information for First Nations families to help their teens plan for secondary and post-secondary education so that they can have successful careers.
WorkBC Parents' Guide helps B.C. parents support teens as they explore options and make decisions about their education and future career paths.
This WorkBC site contains information on Post-Secondary programs, Skills Training programs, Trades Training, Co-Op information and much more.
BladeRunners provides life skills, job readiness skills, work experience/on-the-job training, job coaching and ongoing supports to unemployed youth at risk. This program has been helping unemployed, at-risk youth prepare for and find employment for the last 25 years.
This site provides information about careers through videos featuring Indigenous role models. A teacher resource book, a parent and student guide, and classroom posters are also available.
Education Planner BC offers a variety of useful information about programs, tips on student wellness, finances, which programs/credentials are offered by which institution, and more.
The ISET program provides funding to Indigenous service delivery organizations that design and deliver services to First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban/non-affiliated Indigenous people in their communities. Indigenous service delivery organizations can be found across Canada.
Indigenous student services at Post-Secondary institutions can help you with your education goals, career planning, and provide assistance navigating campus services.
Gathering Places are unique spaces on campus that reflect the culture and traditions of Indigenous Students. Depending on the campus, you may use these spaces to study, hang out, smudge, and hold ceremony. For more information, please contact the Indigenous Services centre at the college or university you attend.
BC211 is a non-profit organization that specializes in providing free information and referral regarding community, government, and social services within BC. This is a resource for a variety of community resources that may be useful when moving to a new community.
Friendship Centres provide services to Indigenous people living in urban settings and hold space for all members of the community to celebrate culture, share knowledge, and connect with others. Each Friendship Centre is unique to its community.
If you are a status First Nations or Inuit person then you may be eligible for funding from the federal government through your Band, Nation or community.
If you are taking high school upgrading courses at a public college or university, tuition is free, and you may be eligible for assistance with costs such as fees, books, supplies, transportation and unsubsidized childcare. For more information, please contact the financial aid office at the public post-secondary institution or institute you are thinking of attending.
StudentAid BC (SABC) provides a combination of grants, loans and other financial aid programs to eligible B.C. residents with demonstrated financial need to supplement the costs of a post-secondary education that leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree. SABC also provides student financial assistance under separate programs and criteria for students with a permanent disability, part-time students, current or former youth in care, and students studying in-demand programs such as trades and health.
The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program supports B.C. students who are former youth in care who are attending either full-time or part-time studies at a B.C. public post-secondary institution, Native Education College or one of 10 eligible union trades training centres. Check out StudentAid BC under Grants, Scholarships and Other Funding Opportunities for additional information.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) coordinates programs to support Indigenous people who want to enter and succeed in skilled trades. Programs offer a range of pre-apprenticeship trades training, including: trades exploration/bridging, Foundation technical training, essential skills, job search and employment supports. For more information please go here.
Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund
This fund is available for students who are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency that may impact their ability to finish their studies. For more information, please contact the Indigenous Services centre at the college or university or institute you attend.
The Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society offers three Award programs for First Nations (status or Non-Status), Métis or Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education in B.C. Awards vary from $1,000 - $5,000 and are available for students pursuing trades training, apprenticeships, diplomas, certificates or undergraduate degrees, Masters or Doctoral studies, as well as the Teacher Education Award specifically for students pursuing a teaching certificate.
Aboriginal Learning Links provides resources for First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners wishing to pursue or continue post-secondary studies and training in British Columbia. Topics and links include: Planning Your Education, Paying for School, On-Campus Resources, Child Care, Housing, and information for Former Children in Care.
The New Relationship Trust offers Scholarships at the Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate levels, and offers bursaries for certificate, diploma, associate degree & trades programs. Additionally, the New Relationship Trust offers targeted training on occasions, for example in 2019-20 there are scholarships available for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) students residing in B.C., enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution, studying in an early year’s field.
Indspire is a national Indigenous-led registered charity offering bursaries, scholarships and awards for Indigenous students every year. There are scholarships, bursaries and awards available for full-time university programs, as well as full- or part-time certificate or diploma programs including apprenticeships, skilled trades and technology training.
Government of Canada’s Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool
More than 750 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada offered by governments, universities and colleges, private and public companies, individual Canadians, organizations and others aimed at Indigenous students.
Other Bursaries & Scholarships
There are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Each university or college has different ones available. Contact the Indigenous Services or Financial Aid centres at the college or university you plan to attend for more information.