The BC Aboriginal Student Award was established in 2008 as part of the provincial government's strategy to improve Aboriginal access to and achievement in education. Its purpose is to support Aboriginal people in pursuing post-secondary education by reducing financial barriers.
The Society's programs are administered by the Victoria Foundation. Awards of $1,000 - $5,000 are available for Aboriginal people pursuing post-secondary education at B.C. public post-secondary institutions or Aboriginal-run institutions.
Beginning in 2013, a special focus and additional funding was made available for students pursuing Master's and Doctoral degrees.
The Aboriginal Teacher Education Award supports Aboriginal students enrolled in a teacher education program at a public post-secondary in British Columbia. Awards are $5,000 annually for a maximum of four years.
Pamela Langevin is in her second semester of the Bachelor of Education Post-degree Professional program at the University of Victoria. This program allows participants to study four condensed terms in order to obtain the degree. Langevin received a $5,000 Aboriginal Student Award in 2015 to support her in her studies.
Student Story: Kyle Bobiwash
Kyle, from the Missisauga First Nation, is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University researching pollination. He's always been interested in bees and nature, and his studies help him understand how biodiversity can support healthy ecosystems and thriving communities. Eventually, Kyle wants to help create sustainable farms on reserves and demonstrate the opportunity that First Nations communities have in sustainable agriculture.
Originally from the Stoney Nation in southern Alberta, Terry is pursuing a PhD in public administration at the University of Victoria. She received a Masters/PhD Aboriginal Student Award to fund her research on management and leadership capacity of First Nations. Read Terry's story
Student Story: James Smith
James, of the small community of Yunesit'in, received the BC Aboriginal Student Award to fund his studies in engineering at the University of Victoria. He hopes to eventually work to bring renewable energy like wind and solar to remote communities like his own.
Student Story: Ayla Brown
Ayla Brown received a 2014 BC Aboriginal Teacher Education award to fund her studies at UBC in the Indigenous Teacher Education program (NITEP). From her work with youth in her home community of Bella Bella, Ayla has learned about the transformative power of culturally relevant education. Read Ayla's story here.
In 2014, Kaisha Woods received a BC Aboriginal Student Award to fund her studies at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. Originally from Terrace, Kaisha is studying nursing with the eventual goal of becoming a doctor. Read Kaisha's story here.