Scholarships and bursaries
Various organizations offer scholarships to Native students in order to facilitate life in university and ease financial predicaments. Take advantage of these offers!
The following is a sampling of what's available:
Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Supplement Program
The Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering (AANSE) supplement aims to engage Aboriginal students and fellows in promoting interest and participation in the natural sciences and engineering by visiting Canada’s Aboriginal communities and schools and sharing their research and education experiences or participating in science promotion events and activities.
The value of the supplement will be based on the budget proposed in your application, up to a maximum of $5,000.
The supplement will cover costs associated with the proposed science and engineering promotion activity and Aboriginal community visit. These include costs incurred by the Aboriginal Ambassador for the applicant’s:
- travel (air, rail, car rental, taxi etc.);
- accommodation (hotel, etc.);
- material and supplies needed for demonstrations or experiments; and
- incidental expenses (photocopying, faxes, etc.).
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
- be an Aboriginal person; and
- hold an USRA, Alexander Graham Bell CGS, PGS, PDF, IPS, IRDF or Northern Research Internship.
- hold a USRA,** Vanier CGS, Alexander Graham Bell CGS, PGS, PDF, IPS or IRDF
To be considered for this supplement, you must submit the following documents:
- A one- to two-page proposal (please see below for details);
- A detailed budget which provides estimates for all costs of travel, accommodation and incidental expenses (for example equipment rental, photocopies, etc.); and
- A letter of reference from your supervisor, or other faculty member within your institution, which attests to your skills and aptitudes for becoming an Aboriginal Ambassador.
- A copy of documentation confirming your Aboriginal status; and
- A statement, with your signature, confirming that you agree to the general conditions governing scholarships and fellowships outlined in the NSERC Program Guide for Students and Fellows and Instructions for Completing Form 200.
Your proposal must clearly and succinctly:
- identify your intended audience (high school, community group, etc.) and the projected number of participants;
- discuss the method of engagement (speech, workshop, summer camp, etc.);
- outline the subject matter you will be presenting or your planned outreach activities, and your intended message;
- indicate any contacts you have established with the Aboriginal community; and
- explain contacts you have had or will have with PromoScience funded partner organizations, science centres or other organizations in support of your planned activities.
There are no fixed deadlines for this program. Applications must be made at least two months before the start of a proposed outreach activity. The AANSE supplements available in a given year will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Supplement
350 Albert Street
ambassadors [at] nserc-crsng [dot] gc [dot] ca (Email)
Arthur C. Parker & the National Science Foundation Scholarship
The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) presents each year the SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship and National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships for Archaeological Training for all Native peoples from anywhere in the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders.
- Together, these scholarship programs provide four awards ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 each to support training in archaeological methods and/or to support studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care.
- These scholarships are intended for current students — high school seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students — and personnel of Tribal or other Native cultural preservation programs. Native Americans and Pacific Islanders from the U.S., including U.S. Trust Territories, and Indigenous peoples from Canada are eligible for these scholarships.
Deadline: December 15
Assembly of First Nations Heroes of our Time Awards
- A resident of Canada who is either First Nations status or non-status;
- A currently enrolled and returning full-time student in undergraduate or graduate programs that are a minimum of two academic years at an accredited Canadian university or technical college;
- The applicant has completed as least one year of post secondary studies in a field that coincides with one of the scholarships below:
- Jake Fire Award - Criminology
- Tommy Prince Award - Native Studies
- Walter Dieter Award - Social Work
- Omer Peters Award - Political Science
- James Gosnell Award - Law
- Robert Smallboy Award - Medicine
- John Young Award - Science
- Dr. Freda Ahenakew Award - Education
- Write an essay, maximum 1,500 words, highlighting why you should receive a Heroes of our Time Scholarship;
- Provide an official transcript;
- and 2 letters of reference
- The deadline for submission of complete application packages is June 21.
All application packages can be sent to:
Assembly of First Nations
473 Albert St. Suite 910
OR they can be faxed to (official transcripts must still be mailed):
Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge
The Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge is a national storytelling initiative, offered by the Historica-Dominino Institute, to educate Canadians about the defining moments in history that have shaped this country and its Aboriginal people.
The Challenge is a creative writing contest for young Aboriginal Canadians. Participants can showcase their talent and creativity, and win up to $2000. Participants must be of Aboriginal ancestry (Status, Non-Status, Inuit and Métis) and between the ages of 14-18 or 19-29.
Deadline: March 31.
Canadian Northern Studies Trust Awards
- The Canadian Northern Studies Trust is an Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies awards program. It offers several awards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels ranging from $1,500 to $40,000.
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be enrolled in full time post-secondary education in a recognized Canadian University or College
- Have a northern or circumpolar fieldwork component to your research or project
Deadline: January 31.
Canadian Medical Foundation Special Bursary Program for Aboriginal Medical Students
The Canadian Medical Foundation annually disburses 11 bursaries to Aboriginal medical students valued at $5000. Special buraries include, The Ada Medical Student Bursary, The Dr. John Big Canoe Scholarship and the Dr. Jack Armstrong Award. They have partnered with the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation to administer their bursaries.
- First Nation status or non-status*, Inuit or Métis and recognized by the Federal Government.
- Canadian citizenship.
- Enrolled as a full-time student at the post-secondary level in a program of study that is a minimum of two academic years at an accredited university, college or CEGEP and pursuing a certificate, diploma or degree; there is an exception made for one-year upgrading or certification programs such as nurse practitioner after a Bachelor of Science in Nursing;
- Enrolled in a graduate program outside of Canada.
- Studying a branch of the health sciences such as: nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, lab technology, physiotherapy, dietics, nutrition, health administration, and public health policy.
The Dr. Tomer Levy Bursary
Dr. Tomer Levy was born in Montreal in 1963 and moved to Ottawa with his family in 1978. He graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1988. Dr. Levy travelled to Guyana in 1991 to work as a volunteer with a Canadian team of eye specialists. In 1991-92 he worked as a volunteer at St. Mary's Catholic Mission Hospital in Papua, New Guinea. During this time he became involved in cultural activities of the Tolai People of the area. Dr. Levy's love of many cultures inspired him to travel extensively in Africa and Asia. During these travels, he explored local traditional medicine and healing practices. Upon his return to Toronto, he worked as a family practitioner in the emergency room of Peel Memorial Hospital and at The House, a community health centre for youth. In 1993 Dr. Levy began working at Anishnawbe Health Toronto health centre as a physician. He was known as "Dr. Tomer" at Anishnawbe Health and showed deep affection and respect for First Nations People and their Traditional Medicine.
- The Dr. Tomer Levy Memorial Bursary has been established to assist students of Aboriginal ancestry who are pursuing a career in medicine for the purpose of working within the Aboriginal community.
Each year an award will be offered to a student who:
- is of Aboriginal ancestry, Inuit or Metis;
- in good standing at a medical school;
- have their home community in Ontario;
- who want to work with the Native community upon completion of their education;
Deadline: All applications must be post-marked or faxed by May 31st of each year or the following Monday if the 31st falls on a weekend
Send completed applications to:
The Dr. Tomer Levy Memorial Bursary
Anishnawbe Health Toronto
225 Queen St E
Toronto, ON M5A 1S4
McGill Scholarships and Student Aid Office
First Nations, Metis and Inuit students are eligible for any of the University’s “open” bursaries – those with no restrictions.
All of these bursaries can be found at: http://coursecalendar.mcgill.ca/scholarships201314/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm#href=SCHL1314.1.26.html
Foundation for the Advancement of Aboriginal Youth (FAAY)
- Aboriginal students (status, non-status, Métis, and Inuit) who are Canadian citizens, enrolled full-time in a Canadian school located in Canada.
- Mature students and adult education programs are included.
Types of Financial Support Available:
- Bursaries — the only national Aboriginal program that provides $750 to students pursuing a high school diploma as an incentive to stay in school.
- Scholarships — provides a minimum amount of $2,500 and is available to students pursuing a post-secondary education in any discipline.
Deadline: October 15 each year
Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP)
The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) began as an idea among Native American students attending Harvard Medical School (HMS). The focus of activity during the summer is participation in a basic science research project. Students are assigned a medical school faculty mentor who will work closely with the student to ensure completion of a project over the 8-week summer period. Additional program goals include:
- Experience cutting edge research at a leading medical school
- Understand the medical school application process
- Exposure to Native American health care issues
- Integrate Native traditions including talking circles
- Networking with Native American students and faculty
Students will be provided with the following: Transportation from home to Boston and back, single rooms in the medical school student dormitory, Emergency Accident and Sickness Insurance and a living stipend for food and other necessities
- Minimum 1 year of undergraduate studies in a 4-year undergraduate degree program completed prior to start of program
- Demonstrated interest in careers in medical sciences
- At least 1 introductory science course (can include biology or chemistry)
- NOT taking the August MCAT (the time constraints of the program do not allow adequate time for studying for this important exam)
GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program in Canada
The GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program in Canada is a unique program that provides financial support and skills development opportunities for up to 5 accomplished first-year undergraduate students from recognized institutions who are pursuing degrees in the fields of engineering or business/management and are Canadian resident Aboriginal individuals who are either First Nation status or non-status, Métis or Inuit.
- A $4000 per year scholarship for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years of your undergraduate program
- An opportunity to be mentored by a business leader at GE in Canada
- Participation in GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders activities, including a specially designed leadership development seminar at GE Canada in Mississauga, Ontario
- Participation in community work projects
Aboriginal peoples who:
- Are Canadian residents
- Are first-year full-time undergraduate students at a recognized Canadian university
- Are studying engineering or business/management
- Have high academic performance, as demonstrated by first semester university results and high school transcripts.
- Demonstrate financial need
Supporting Documentation – In addition to your application form, the following documentation is required:
- Certification Page with original signature (downloaded from online application)
- High school transcripts – official copy, may be sent directly by high school
- First semester university results (if available) – official copy, may be sent directly by university
- Two letters of recommendation (see instructions on form which can be downloaded from the online application)
- Proof of Aboriginal ancestry – photocopy of Band/Treaty card; Métis membership card; Inuit Beneficiary card. Students who are non-status First Nation may send a photocopy of the band card issued to parent or grandparent.
Deadline: March 15
Gil Purcell Memorial Journalism Scholarship
To encourage Native students (status, non-status, Métis, Inuit) to study journalism at a Canadian institution and eventually enter the field of journalism in Canada. It was established in 1990 in honour of Gillis Purcell, general manager of The Canadian Press, the national news agency, from 1945-1969. Many of the strengths and traditions of Canadian journalism had their roots in his dedication to the quality of journalism.
- One scholarship of $4,000 and an offer of summer employment at the Canadian Press or one of its affiliated companies.
- November 15 of each year.
Administrative Assistant, Human Resources
The Canadian Press
36 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2L9
dmccartney [at] cp [dot] org (Email)
Graduate Fellowship for American Indians Available From American Indian Graduate Center
The American Indian Graduate Center, Inc. announces the availability of fellowships and loans for service to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate and graduate students.
To find out more information and eligibility requirements about various programs, please visit: AIGC
Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award
Every year, the NWAC Youth Department coordinates the Helen Bassett Commemorative Award granted to four young Aboriginal women in the amount of $1,000 each. The awards are made possible by the generous donation of Helen Bassett.
- Student must be currently pursuing post-secondary studies (Priority placed to Law studies) and demonstrate financial need
- Applicants must be an Aboriginal woman under 31 years of age
- Must demonstrate commitment to improving the situation of Aboriginal women and youth in Canada politically, culturally, economically or otherwise
- Former Youth Council members are not eligible to apply
Application deadline: July
Kailey Brennan, Youth Program Assistant
Telephone: 613 722 3033 ext 251
Toll Free: 1 800 461 4043
kbrennan [at] nwac [dot] ca (Email)
Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown Indigenous Scholarship Program
The Holiday Inn Vancouver is proud to present our Indigenous Scholarship Program in which -each year- one or more qualified and deserving Indigenous students will receive a $2000 scholarship with which to pursue post-secondary education. The scholarship will be awarded to the student (or students) that best demonstrates - academic merit, financial need and a commitment to continuing education.
- Aboriginal/ Indigenous student
- Currently enrolled or accepted in a post secondary school program
- Recommended by two or more members of the Scholarship Executive Committee
Please forward application to:
Holiday Inn, Hotel and Suites
1110 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1R2
Or by bonnie [at] hivancouverdowntown [dot] com (Email)
Husky Energy Aboriginal Educational Awards
Husky Aboriginal Education Awards are bursaries awarded to Aboriginal students who strive to achieve greater career success by pursuing education. Husky awards bursaries to six new recipients each year.
- Canadian citizen of Aboriginal ancestry
- In need of financial assistance
- Affiliated with a community in close proximity to Husky operations
- ranging from $1,000/year for secondary school to $3,000/year for university studies.
Deadline: May 31
Information and online application:
P.O. Box 6525, Station D
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3G7
aboriginal [dot] affairs [at] huskyenergy [dot] com (Email)
Indigenous Bar Association Law Student Scholarship
An award of $2,000 will be presented annually to an Indigenous law student that best demonstrates financial need, academic merit and commitment to Indigenous legal matters.
- Be an Indigenous law student (i.e. First Nations, Métis or Inuit) currently enrolled in law school who, at a minimum, has substantially completed their first year of legal studies; and
- have demonstrated interest in serving the Indigenous community and the Creator with honour and integrity.
While preference and priority will be given to Indigenous students currently enrolled in law school, students enrolled in other professional legal studies may also be considered for the Scholarship (i.e. LL.M. students, graduate students, and bar admission course students).
Deadline: June 30
Information and application: Website
Institut Tshakapesh Recognition Awards from the Health Careers Program for First Nations and Inuit
The Program's goal is to encourage and support First Nations and Inuit participation in educational opportunities leading to professional careers in the health field.
- College: $400
- University: $500
- full time student in a field related to health at a post-secondary institution and have successfully completed the last two consecutive semesters with success;
- studying full-time in the health field;
- registered full-time at a post-secondary level in a health field for the upcoming session
To enlist you must complete the enrolment form, attached with your marks from the fall and winter sessions of the preceding year as well as proof that you are a member of First Nation or Inuit. If you have started or already been registered in a program within the health domain in September of the previous year, you are also eligible.
Deadline: first week of November of each year:
1034, ave Brochu
Sept-Iles, QC G4R 2Z1
diane [dot] morissette [at] tshakapesh [dot] ca (Email)
Legal Studies for Aboriginal People (LSAP) Pre-Law Bursary Award
The Legal Studies for Aboriginal People program is managed and delivered by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Métis and Non-Status Indians enrolled in a pre-law or law program recognized and delivered by a Canadian university can apply directly to the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.
- Be Métis or Non-Status Indian of Canadian citizenship, living in Canada, who has applied to a Canadian law school;
- Attest to Métis or Non-Status Indian ancestry by signing the declaration in the application form;
- Demonstrate financial need by providing financial information on income or other assistance received and expenses as required in the application form; and,
- Demonstrate that they possess the ability to succeed in law school by providing the necessary documentation as identified in the application.
- May 15
Information: NAAF Website
NAHO’s First Nations Single Parent Health Careers Bursary
The First Nations Centre, National Aboriginal Health Organization is sponsoring a First Nations Single Parent Health Careers Bursary. This program will give out a minimum of five $1,000 cash bursaries to First Nation students currently enrolled and attending health related post-secondary programs during the current school year, who are single parents and in need of financial support.
The First Nations Centre Health Careers Program will award a minimum of five $1000 cash bursaries to students based on:
- Submission of an application.
- Proof of student status, which includes:
- First Nations students attending a post-secondary institution in an area of study that leading to a career which has a direct impact on First Nations health.
- Attendance in a full-time health related program* that may include but is not limited to: Biological Sciences, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Genetics and Complex Diseases, Health Sciences, Human Kinetics, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Nursing, Nutrition Sciences, etc.
- Description of financial need:
- Financial needs for education related expenses: for example child care, living expenses, tuition, transportation, books & supplies.
- Proof of First Nations ancestry.
- Confirmation of single parenthood
Tel: 613-237-9462 ext. 505
dberman [at] naho [dot] ca (Email)
The Nasivvik Centre will provide training and educational experiences for Inuit environmental health issues under a number of initiatives. These are currently under various stages of development and operation in the many Inuit regions throughout the North.
- Summer internships in Inuit Environmental Health:
Part of the Nasivvik Centre’s mandate involves the support of research and training for students. Each year, the Nasivvik Centre offers 2 Summer Student Research Awards. Nasivvik Centre provides funding for students to gain experience by participating in research during the summer months (May-August). Funding support is at the CIHR established level of $1,313/month for four months with a maximum award of $5,252.
- Scholarships in Inuit Environmental Health:
Part of Nasivvik Centre’s mandate involves the support of research and training for graduate students registered in a masters or doctoral degree program in which a thesis is a major component of the degree requirements. Each year, the Nasivvik Centre offers scholarships in Inuit Environmental Health to students whose graduate research focuses on an issue related to one or more of the 3 themes identified by the Nasivvik Centre. The submission of projects that are being conducted in cooperation with an Inuit community or organization, which include in-community research time, and that have a high probability of contributing to the understanding of a specific Inuit environmental health issue and the student’s education in Inuit health is strongly encouraged.
- Post-doctoral Fellowships in Inuit Environmental Health
For more detailed information on any of these proposed, planned, developed or ongoing initiatives please contact:
Coordinator, Nasivvik Centre
c/o Kristeen McTavish
Department of Indigenous Studies
1600 West Bank Drive
Tel: 705-748-1011 ext. 7242
The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF)
NAAF offers financial assistance to Inuit, Métis and status and non-status First Nations students through three major programs:
- The Arts Scholarship Program for fine arts and performance arts studies. Eligible fields of study: all areas related to the visual, performing, media, graphic and literary arts. Deadline: May 1.
- The Post-Secondary Education Awards Program for Business, Science and Education Studies. Eligible fields of study: business, science, law, engineering, information technology, education, social work and the social sciences. There are two deadlines annually: November 1 & June 1.
- The Aboriginal Health Careers Program. Eligible fields of study: health sciences such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, biology, chemistry, physiotherapy, pharmacy, clinical psychology, laboratory research and technology and any other health field in which a study of the hard sciences is a pre-requisite. There are two deadlines annually: November 1 & June 1. Dental students can also apply for the Health Canada Dental Bursaries & Scholarships deadline: November 30.
We have application forms here or you can download them from the NAAF website. For more information on these and other scholarships, please see the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation website.
Rose Nolan Scholarship Fund
After many years of trying to find a way to honour his late mother, Rose Nolan, Ted has created the Rose Nolan Scholarship Fund. "My mother had a tremendous influence on my life," said Ted. "I wouldn't be the person I am today without her guidance and love. For years and years I've wanted to do something to pay tribute to her." The purpose is to provide Aboriginal women with the opportunity to achieve their educational goals.
- Be an Aboriginal Woman (First Nation Status) and a member of a First Nation community in Canada;
- Must be a resident of Canada;
- Must have completed one year of full-time educational study.
Deadline: June 30
Royal Bank Native Student Awards
- All status Indians, non-status Indians, Inuit or Métis are eligible to apply.
- Permanent resident/citizen of Canada.
- Provide proof of acceptance (with transcript of marks) or are already attending a university or college listed in the Directory of Canadian Universities, in a discipline related (but not restricted) to the Financial Industry.
- You maintain a full course workload leading to a recognized degree, certificate or diploma.
- You are in need of financial assistance to pursue your education.
Amount: up to $4,000 per academic year for educational and living expenses for two to four years
RBC awards 10 scholarships in two categories:
- For students majoring in disciplines related to the financial services industry
- For students majoring in disciplines unrelated to the financial services industry
Interested recipients will be given consideration for summer employment and post- graduate employment at Royal Bank.
Deadline: January 31. Successful applicants will be notified by March 31.
Information and Online Application Form:
aboriginalstudentawards [at] rbc [dot] com (Email)
The Tom Longboat Award
Tom Longboat was one of the most celebrated and accomplished athletes in Canadian history. A member of the Onondaga Nation who resided in Six Nations of the Grand River, Tom Longboat was one of the most gifted long distance runners of his time. Throughout his life, Tom Longboat spoke proudly of his First Nations Heritage and held his head high in times of great adversity. He was the headline attraction wherever he raced, drawing huge crowds and a widespread following. In 1999, Maclean's Magazine voted him the #1 Canadian sports figure of the 20th century.
Once a year, the Aboriginal Sport Circle recognizes the achievements of gifted Aboriginal athletes by selecting the top male and female Aboriginal athlete from each province/territory for the Tom Longboat Regional Awards. These regional recipients automatically advance as nominees for the prestigious National Award that is presented to the most outstanding male and female Aboriginal Athlete in Canada.
National recipients will receive the following:
- An all-expenses paid trip to receive the award;
- A commemorative Tom Longboat Award medallion;
- A custom-made Tom Longboat Award ring;
- A cash bursary of $500; and
- Their name will be engraved on the Tom Longboat Trophy on display at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
- Must be of Aboriginal descent
- Must have amateur status in the sport for which they are nominated
- Nominations must be for achievements within the calendar year preceding the application.
- Must submit a completed nomination form to the appropriate provincial or territorial Aboriginal sport body on or before the deadline (January).
Aboriginal Sport Circle
unit #7-34 McCumber Rd.
North Akwesasne, ON K6H 5R7
The Warren Fellowship
Thanks to the generosity of Roger Warren, each year a fellowship for $20,000 is offered to a deserving Aboriginal student seeking admission to a Master's or a Doctoral program at McGill University. The applicant's research must focus on some aspect of the study of Canada. Based on progress reports and participation in the activities of the Institute, the award may be twice renewed.
Please see posting at McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund
The TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund will support First Nation Status or Non-status, Inuit or Métis* nurses at the Bachelor, Master’s, PhD and Nurse Practitioner levels. This fund aims to support Canadian Aboriginal nursing students who intend to practice nursing preferably in Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal health settings or any health settings.
First Nation Status, Non-status, Inuit or Métis ancestry can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:
- Status card for First Nations applicants
- Band/Treaty card
- Letter from band chief or mayor, or band office for First Nations applicants
- Métis membership card, OR recognizable proof of connection to parent(s) or grand-parent(s) with a Métis membership card, through a long-form birth certificate or baptism certificate demonstrating that relationship (photocopies are acceptable).
- Inuit beneficiary card
- Students who are non-status First Nation must send a photocopy of the band card issued to parents or grandparents along with a long-form birth certificate or baptism certificate clearly demonstrating their relationship to the individual listed on the band card.
Deadline: March 31
Please contact the firstpeopleshouse [at] mcgill [dot] ca (First Peoples House) for additional scholarship information.