Funding for Indigenous Students

On this page: First-Year Award | Bursary | Provost's Achievement Award| Additional Funding Opportunities

Indigenous Student Financial Assistance

McGill has established a funding program for Indigenous students, made possible in part to Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous peoples of Canada. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action, the program is a result of the 2017 Final Report from the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, which recommends improved financial support to increase the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students.

All the funds raised through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures Program are matched by the federal government, nearly doubling McGill’s investment towards our Indigenous students. Indspire manages the application and adjudication process with Indigenous jurors for the Indigenous First-Year Award and the Indigenous Bursary program.

There are three types of dedicated financial support available through the Indigenous Student Financial Assistance program. They are:

McGill's Indigenous First-Year Award with 

This is a one-time, $2,000 award given to Indigenous students entering their first year. This award is non-renewable and non-deferrable. However, recipients are permitted to hold it alongside other scholarships or bursaries received from McGill or other sources.

Am I eligible for this award?

To be eligible for this award, you must:

  1. Be a first-year Indigenous student entering in any undergraduate or professional program, including Law (BCL&LLB), Medicine (MDCM), and Dentistry (DMD).
  2. Have a complete application, and have confirmed Indigenous affiliation and Canadian citizenship.
  3. Maintain full-time status (minimum 12 credits in each of the Fall and Winter semesters).

How do I apply?

You are required to submit your application directly to Indspire. If you need help completing the application, Indspire also provides 1-on-1 assistance.

When is the application deadline?

Selection periods are based on three application deadlines:

  1. August 1st
  2. November 1st
  3. February 1st

Note: Despite the deadlines, you are able to apply for this award at any time during your first year.

How will I receive payment?

Based on Indspire’s adjudication, McGill’s Scholarships and Student Aid Office will process payment to the recipient’s bank account; one-half of the payment will be issued for each of Fall and Winter semesters.

Disbursement dates are dependent on the timing of the student’s application and the communication by Indspire of their decision.

Note: If you have not entered your bank account information in Minerva, the payment will be processed to your fee account.


McGill's Indigenous Bursary with 

This is an award ranging from $1,000- $10,000 based on demonstrated financial need, available to Indigenous students pursuing a degree program. Students may re-apply to Indspire in each year of study.

Am I eligible for this award?

To be eligible for this award, you must:

  1. Be pursuing a degree program (Bachelors, Masters and PhD) and require financial assistance to defray the cost of studies.
  2. Have a complete application, and have confirmed Indigenous affiliation and Canadian citizenship.
  3. Have a minimum CGPA of 2.0.
  4. Maintain full-time status (minimum 12 credits in each of the Fall and Winter semesters).

How do I apply?

You are required to submit your application directly to Indspire. If you need help completing the application, Indspire also provides 1-on-1 assistance.

When is the application deadline?

Selection periods are based on three application deadlines:

  1. August 1st
  2. November 1st
  3. February 1st

How will I receive payment?

Based on Indspire’s adjudication, McGill’s Scholarships and  Student Aid Office will process payment to the recipient’s bank account; one-half of the payment will be issued for each of Fall and Winter terms.

Disbursement dates are dependent on the timing of the student’s application and the communication by Indspire of their decision.

Note: If you have not entered your bank account information in Minerva, the payment will be processed to your fee account.


The Provost's Indigenous Achievement Award

This is a $5,000 renewable admissions award given to Indigenous students with exceptional high school or CEGEP grades. One to three awards are issued every year.

Am I eligible for this award?

No application is required for this award; recipients are determined at the time of admission based on exceptional grades from high school or CEGEP.

To be eligible to receive this award, you must:

  1. Have confirmed Indigenous affiliation and Canadian citizenship.
  2. Have exceptional grades from high school or CEGEP.
  3. Be a first-time undergraduate student entering a degree program, including Law, Medicine, and Dentistry.

How will I receive payment?

Based on the recommendation of McGill Admissions, the Scholarships and Student Aid Office will process payment to the recipient’s fee account. One-half of the payment will be issued for each of Fall and Winter terms, on August 1st and January 1st respectively.

Is this award renewable?

This award is renewable for the duration of your studies. 

In order for the award to be renewed, you must:

  1. Maintain a CGPA of 3.3.
  2. Maintain full-time status (minimum of 12 credits in each of the Fall and Winter semesters).

Additional Funding Opportunities 

If you have exhausted these funding opportunity and/or other core funding (from band or other government agencies), and you are still facing financial challenges, there is still help!

The In-Course Financial Aid program is available to all students studying at McGill.
To apply:

  1. Log-in to Minerva.
  2. Access the Financial Aid menu in the Financial Aid/Awards tab. 
  3. Complete the application and then
  4. Contact us to arrange a confidential appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor.

Also, check out the First Peoples' House website for information about scholarships and bursaries available to Indigenous students. Be sure to check out the Indigenous Bursary Search Tool when you visit their site.