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Financial Assistance for Indigenous Students

Recognizing that students need funding to succeed in their studies, this is a partial listing of potential funding sources are available to Indigenous students. When reviewing this listing please keep in mind that the information provided here is minimal at best and it is, thus, strongly advised that students search the accompanying links for additional information such as application forms and the criteria required to compete for these awards.

It is also suggested that students place these important deadline dates in their yearly calendars and that they begin the process of filling out applications and requesting letters of reference from professors at least one month before deadlines. Further to this, it is also suggested that students confirm all information provided here, including the deadline dates.

Emergency funding is also available through the First Peoples House of Learning. Please contact Shari Beaver for an application form (sharibeaver@trentu.ca). 

1. Indspire (formally NAAF) 
Telephone: 1-800-329-9780 
​Indspire: indspire.ca

2. Casino Rama’s Awards for Excellence Program
Telephone: 1-800-832-7529 
Deadline: Usually mid February
No website or online application available - call them

3. Canada Post Aboriginal Education Incentive Award 
Telephone: (613) 734-6442
Deadline: Mail in your submission between May 1st and no later than July 31st of the current year. 
Each of Canada Post's eight regions across the country will grant three awards annually: Two $1,000 scholarships for the return to and successful completion of one full year of high school. One $1,000 scholarship for the return to and successful completion of one full year of post-secondary education, including vocational or trade skills training. Please note that an essay is required. 
WEBSITE: http://www.canadapost.ca/

4. American Association of School Personnel Administrator’s Leon Bradley Scholarship Program
Telephone: (913) 829-2007 
Deadline: May 15
The Leon Bradley Scholarship Program is established to encourage more minorities or persons of colour to enter the teaching profession. The American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) will annually award a scholarship to assist a minority college student seeking their initial teaching certification and/or endorsement.
The scholarship will be for $500 granted for the student's final year, which includes student teaching. 
WEBSITE: www.aaspa.org

5. Hydro One Networks Inc. - The Leonard S. (Tony) Mandamin Scholarship
Hydro One is a transmission and distribution electricity company in Ontario and is actively engaged in supporting students interested in the electricity sector. Each year, 15 scholarships are available to First Nations, Métis and Inuit students enrolled at a recognized Ontario college or university.
Each scholarship includes a financial award in the amount of $5,000.00 and an opportunity to complete a paid developmental work term at Hydro One.
The deadline to apply is December 31st of every year.
For more information on eligibility, requirements and to apply, please visit: www.HydroOne.com/MandaminScholarship

6.Four Directions Scholarships Awards
Four scholarships of $1000.00 each will be awarded annually to graduating aboriginal (Status, Non-status, Metis and Inuit) secondary school/adult students. These awards are administered by the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association.

  • Student of Aboriginal ancestry graduating from an Ontario Secondary School with O.S.S.D of the current school year.
  • Good academic standing throughout the school year.
  • 75% overall average in graduating year
  • Proceeding into a post-secondary institution full time program
  • Involvement in the community and/or school extra-curricular activities.
  • Recommended by Secondary School, First Nation Community or Education Counsellor.
  • Leadership qualities, dedication and good attendance.

Application Procedure

  • Application forms are available from a First Nation Education office, and Education Counsellor or from the ONECA office at (705) 692-2999
  • Applications will only be processed after all of the following has been received.
  • Final Transcripts.
  • Letter of Recommendation.
  • Copy of acceptance letter from post-secondary institution.
  • Proof of Aboriginal Ancestry
  • Copies of awards, diplomas or other supporting documents.
  • Final Report Card.


June 30 @4:00 P.M. each year
Supporting Documents: July 30 each year

7. Ontario Power Generation - John Wesley Beaver Memorial Award
Two awards are available annually to qualified students – one female and one male – of Native ancestry (Status, Non-status, Métis or Inuit). 
Each Award is valued at $4,000.
To apply, students need to be either entering or attending a college or university in Ontario. 
To be eligible for an Award, the students must also:

  • • Be entering or enrolled in one of the following program areas: Engineering, Trades, Technology, Business, Environmental Studies or disciplines relevant to OPG’s business.
  • • Provide proof of good academic standing (minimum B average)
  • • Demonstrate strong communication skills
  • • Demonstrate involvement in extracurricular activities, including volunteer work
  • • Be legally eligible to work in Canada upon graduation
  • • Have submitted a completed application form, including a brief (500 words) overview of their interest in their Native community or their commitment to Native culture and heritage.

Applications are due June 1 of each year
For more information please check out OPG’s website at: John Wesley Beaver Memorial Award

8.Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program
There are approximately 1,300 Scholarships awarded for academic excellence at the graduate level of study at Ontario Universities. The value of awards are $3,953 per acedemic term. 
For more information contact:
The Graduate Studies Office
Ontario Universities or 
The Ministry of Education and Training
Student Affairs
PO Box 4500
189 Red River Road, 4th Floor
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6G9
Phone: (807)343-7257 or 1-800-465-3957
Canada Post: 
You meet the eligibility criteria if…

  • You are an Aboriginal Canadian (member of a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit).
  • You have been out of school for at least one year. 
  • You returned to school and completed one full year of studies (between January 2014 and August 2015).
  • You have never received this award in the past (previous award recipients are not eligible).

9. Leon Bradley Scholarship
American Association of School Personnel Administrators
Leon Bradley Scholarship Program 
The Leon Bradley Scholarship Program is established to encourage more minorities or persons of color to enter the field to teaching and school leadership. AASPA believes that it is of benefit for all students to experience diversity among the educators who serve as role models for our students. Thus, the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) will annually award up to two scholarships to assist a minority college student seeking their initial teaching certification and/or endorsement and up to two scholarships to assist a minority graduate student seeking his/her administrative credential. 
One scholarship will be for $2000 granted for the student’s final year, which includes student teaching.
One scholarship will be for $1000 granted to a minority paraprofessional career-changer in his/her final year of teacher preparation.
Up to two scholarships will be for $1000 granted to a minority graduate student who is pursuing a school administrator credential.
Checks will be sent directly to the college or university to verify that the applicant is a full-time student and is pursuing a prescribed course of study for initial teacher certification and/or endorsement before applying any money to the costs.
These scholarships will be awarded to a student graduating in 2016.

* Any monies not used for tuition can be applied to any other university-based expenses the student may incur.

Other resources: