Over the past couple of years, Mount Allison has been working to better support Indigenous students, as well as to encourage non-Indigenous students and community members in understanding the history and culture of Canada's Indigenous people.
There have also been efforts to find new financial supports for Indigenous students. One of these is the Glooscap (Kluskap) First Nations Bursary, established with an anonymous $50,000 donation.
“The Glooscap (Kluskap) First Nations Bursary will enable us to offer financial support to a First Nations student to help overcome one of the barriers in access to post-secondary education,” says Kim Meade, Mount Allison’s vice-president, international and student affairs. “Mount Allison has committed to First Nations student outreach and to the provision of services and programs to ease the transition to university. The establishment of this bursary will reinforce our efforts and is well-timed with the declaration of the Year of Indigenous Knowing in 2016-17.”
Doreen Richard, Mount Allison’s Indigenous affairs co-ordinator, says many Indigenous students have greater financial needs and fewer opportunities for financial support.
“Many don’t have families that have the means to help them financially,” she says. “And if they are in a community that is able to help them financially, it is limited because there are more students who want an education than the community can support. So it is nice that they can be given this financial start.”
The bursary is designated for full-time Canadian students from First Nations communities. Approximately $2,000 will be awarded each year. The first bursaries will be awarded in 2016-17.