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Donor Creates New Opportunities for Aboriginal Students
February 2, 2007

POA Educational Foundation chair Aditya Jha helps establish $100,000 endowment for Indigenous Studies students; new partnership with Trent also created

Trent University is pleased to announce that Aditya Jha, a leading Canadian IT entrepreneur and chairman of the POA Educational Foundation, has agreed to create a $100,000 endowment to support bursaries and awards for Indigenous Studies students. In addition, a longer-term partnership between the University and the POA Educational Foundation has been formed to collaborate on several projects to nurture entrepreneurship among Canada’s Aboriginal population. 

The $100,000 endowment has been created through a donation made by the POA Educational Foundation and matched dollar-for-dollar by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) program. The gifts will be placed in an endowment and the annual distribution from the funds will be used to support both the Aditya Jha Indigenous Studies Awards and the Aditya Jha Indigenous Studies Bursaries, which will first be made available to Trent students in 2008-2009. Preference for these awards and bursaries will be given to applicants of Aboriginal heritage.

Trent University has also agreed to collaborate with Mr. Jha on several initiatives designed to promote and encourage entrepreneurship among Canada’s Aboriginal population. These initiatives include working with the POA Educational Foundation on its groundbreaking Project Beyshick, which provides Aboriginal youth with the opportunity to gain real business skills by working side-by-side with some of Canada’s most prominent business leaders. As a partner in the project, Trent University’s Indigenous Studies department will host a two-day workshop for participants each summer, in which internal and external faculty and professionals will participate. Students working through the Trent Centre for Community Based Education (TCCBE) will also be involved in planning and running Project Beyshick for the next three years.

“As an international leader in the field of Indigenous Studies and as the home of Canada’s first Ph.D. program in Indigenous Studies, Trent University is a perfect partner for Project Beyshick and for our other initiatives surrounding Aboriginal people in Canada,” said Mr. Jha. 

For more information about the OTSS program, visit the website.