Red River College’s Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy Rebecca Chartrand. Red River College (RRC) and Indspire is doubling the funding for the Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program, it was announced Friday.
This renewed investment will support Red River College’s continued efforts to create more pathways to education for aspiring Indigenous students, building on RRC’s commitment to advance Indigenous achievement in Manitoba.
“This financial support we’ve created demonstrates our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action,” said RRC’s Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy Rebecca Chartrand in a press release. “There is a compelling need for financial assistance for Indigenous students who want to pursue post-secondary education. The Building Brighter Futures bursary we’ve created at Red River College will help remove financial barriers for students to support their educational aspirations.
“From an educational perspective, Red River College is already seeing the difference these funds are making for our students. We have a number of students in our School of Indigenous Education who wouldn’t be here had it not been for this meaningful and impactful partnership, and we’re excited to see the impact we will have as we continue to grow this bursary to support more students.”
In the pilot year, the Building Brighter Futures bursary provided support to 85 aspiring Indigenous students by matching dollar for dollar to cover the full cost of tuition, books and supplies for students enrolled in RRC’s Indigenous Education programs. Now in its second-year, the innovative partnership will provide $1 million in financial support and enable twice as many students to enroll in the following Indigenous Education programs: ACCESS Pathway to Health Programs (10-month transitional program); ACCESS Pathway to Engineering Technology Programs (10-month transitional program); Culinary Skills Indigenous Certificate (10 months); Social Enterprise Diploma (two years); Indigenous Language Certificate Program (10 months); Introduction To Trades (five-month preparatory program); College Transition (10 months); and Community Development/Community Economic Development (two years).
A key pillar of RRC’s five-year strategic plan is to continue to support Indigenous student success and through this initiative, led by RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, the College believes these bursaries will help continue to remove the barriers to access post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba.
“The College is focused on Indigenous Achievement, which means we are focused on creating opportunities for Indigenous students,” said Chartrand. “We are working hard to build partnership with Industry, Indigenous organizations and other bodies that want to support our students.”
“This partnership is another step in the direction of supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis to achieve their potential, so they can in turn transform their families, communities, and Canada,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “We are grateful for the support of Red River College and for the work they are doing to advance Indigenous achievement and education.”
Indigenous students who are interested in learning more about Indigenous programs and bursaries available are invited to attend the Aspiring Indigenous Student Enrolment Fair on Tuesday, March 5, from 1-7 p.m. at the Notre Dame Campus in the Indigenous Support Centre.
The event will provide future students with an opportunity to meet Support Staff and Instructors who can answer questions and help with filling out application forms for any of the featured programs. Students are asked to bring their Social Insurance Number, official high school transcripts and proof of Indigenous Ancestry to help complete the applications.
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