Indigenous Funding Guide
There are many funding options available to support Indigenous students in their studies. Check out the financial awards available and learn about application criteria, deadlines and tips.
If you are a Status First Nations student, you may be eligible for band funding. Each Band’s post-secondary office has its own:
- Application and Deadline
- Funding Priorities
If you are not aware of your band’s contact information, you can find it at:
- Deadlines are ultimately left to the discretion of each band. Contact your band directly to determine the deadline for each semester.
- Minimum GPA policies vary from 1.6 to 2.0 out of 4.0
- Most bands require a transcript and/or confirmation of registration. You can request an official transcript here: MHC Transcript Request
- Ask your band about direct deposit
If you have been denied post-secondary funding through your First Nation, there is alternate funding available through:
- Fall and Winter (Sept – December/April): June 15
- Winter Term – (January – April): October 15
- Spring and Summer (May – August): March 15
Students planning to attend the Winter term only should still apply by June 15. It is recommended that applicants not wait until the Winter deadline.
Below is a list of external awards available for Indigenous students. The application deadlines for these awards vary and can be found below.
In Alberta, Métis students can access funding for one year, typically their final year, from Métis Employment Services, Rupertsland Institute.
However, there are times when you can access funding for the full two years of a diploma program. More information on the funding opportunity with this organization can be found at Rupertsland Institute. There may be other funding opportunities in other provinces so if you are a Métis student from another province, check with your provincial Métis Nation office:
- Métis National Council
- Métis Nation of Alberta
- Métis Nation BC
- Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
- Manitoba Métis Federation
- Métis Nation of Ontario
Belcourt-Brosseau Métis Awards Fund
The Belcourt-Brosseau Métis Awards Fund was established to help Métis Albertans realize self-sufficiency through post-secondary education and skills development. This award is intended to cover a portion of education-related costs such as tuition and fees.
The Government of Canada provides income support to eligible apprentices during periods of technical training through the Employment Insurance system. Apprentices should consult directly with Service Canada.
To be considered for EI benefits while attending technical training, apply at Service Canada as soon as you stop working. If you have applied for or are receiving EI benefits prior to training, you must complete another application indicating your technical training information.
You can call 1.800.206.7218 (in Alberta) or visit Employment Insurance (EI) for additional resources.
Student Line of Credit
If you are not eligible for a student loan, a student line of credit from a bank may be a last resort. These types of loans are less flexible and should be considered your last and final option.
Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training
- Incentive Grant
- Completion Grant
- Tradesperson’s Tools Deduction
- Trades Scholarships
Grants and Scholarships for Apprentices
- Apprenticeship Incentive Grant
- Apprenticeship Completion Grant
- Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit
- Tradesperson’s Tools Deduction
Indigenous Skills & Employment Training Strategy (Apprenticeship)
- Multiple agencies in each province
- Essential skills (numeracy) to advanced job training
- Additional supports (childcare, transportation)
- Community Futures Training & Employment
Foundational Learning (formerly Alberta Works)
Students in foundational learning, upgrading or skills development programs may be eligible for funding to help pay for education and living costs. Foundational Learning Assistance funds education programs that can help you:
- Increase your English language skills,
- Complete academic upgrading for a high school diploma or for post-secondary pre-requisites, and
- Gain in-demand skills to find employment
Contact the MHC Advising desk 403.529.3819 to make an appointment with the Foundational Learning advisor to see if you qualify.
How to apply for awards
There are thousands of scholarships, awards, bursaries and grants available to help finance your education. Many scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement. However, don’t discount yourself based on your grades; other awards are given for athletic involvement, leadership, community service, cultural involvement, area of interest, financial need and the institution you are attending.
You will not be awarded if you do not apply! Apply to every scholarship for which you are eligible. Be sure to:
- Read carefully and follow all instructions as all awards do not have the same requirements. Ask yourself if you meet the requirements as stipulated by the application.
- Complete the appropriate application form, and always keep a copy for your records, as well as a copy of any other accompanying documents.
- Ask an instructor, previous employer, academic advisor or anyone who you know well to support you and write you a reference letter.
- A clean and neat application leaves a good first impression and allows the selection committee to easily assess your application.
- Be aware of and meet all deadlines DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! Turn in your application before the deadline or earlier. By applying early, you will be able to create a well put together application, because you will not be rushing at the last moment.
- If you are mailing your application, ensure to send it to the proper address with the required postage affixed When you mail your application, send it by certified mail. Make sure ALL required documents are sent.
- Follow up with the awards sponsor to make sure your application was received.