UBC Aboriginal students granted financial awards


December 10, 2013 – The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has provided a variety of financial awards to 68 UBC Aboriginal students to support their studies. Overall, this year the Society issued 265 awards to Aboriginal post-secondary students across the province, totaling $813,000.

The Society’s 2013 B.C. Aboriginal Student Awards, announced in late November, cover three categories:

The B.C. Aboriginal Student Award aims to improve access and achievement for Aboriginal post-secondary students, in particular by reducing financial barriers. In 2013, there were 196 awards in this category, which ranged from $1000 to $5000, depending on eligibility requirements (see guidelines here). Of this total, 41 UBC students achieved this award.

The BC Aboriginal Student Award – Master’s/Doctoral is a new award that emphasizes advanced studies. The award recipient receives $5000 annually for the standard length of their program, which is usually three years for a masters and five years for a doctorate. There were a total of 45 awards in this category in 2013, of which 18 were from UBC.

The Aboriginal Teacher Education Award amounts to $5000 annually for a maximum of four years. It supports Aboriginal students enrolled in a teacher education program at a public post-secondary institution in B.C.  In 2013, 24 awards were issued, of which nine were from UBC.

The Society’s Aboriginal awards program, created in 2008, stems from the provincial government’s $65-million Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy announced in 2007. The strategy’s aim is to meet the commitments agreed to in the Transformative Change Accord with B.C. First Nations and the Métis Nation Relationship Accord, both of which include goals to close the gap in the area of education opportunities between Aboriginal people and other British Columbians, among other things.

The call for 2014 applications will be released in January with an April submission deadline (exact date to be announced). For more information, visit the Society’s website here.

“My congratulations to every student who has received an award this year.  It is great to have so many of you here at UBC and to see your work supported,” says Dr. Linc Kesler, Director of the First Nations House of Learning.

“We want to encourage all of you who did not apply for or receive awards this year to apply for the next round of this funding, and to check with us for information about other funding opportunities.  Most of all, we encourage you to remain focused on the pursuit of your degrees.  The work that you are doing is important to us all.”

The First Nations House of Learning is dedicated to providing, among other things, a positive environment for UBC Aboriginal students who utilize the space and services of the Longhouse.

Photo credit: Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society

Updated: December 16, 2013, 3:37 PM