Scholarships / Bursaries

Credit: Learning on the land with Elder John Elliot (Tsartlip), Camosun College
Scholarships and bursaries are an important way to help fund your education. Did you know that every year, thousands of dollars in scholarship and bursary funding isn’t distributed, due to a lack of applications?
Apply for everything you qualify for. If you haven’t already done so, contact the financial aid office at your post-secondary institution to learn more about institution-specific scholarships and bursaries.

Major Awards for BC First Nations Students

New Relationship Trust Scholarships and Bursaries provide awards for BC First Nations Students from the diploma to the doctoral level of studies.
Irving K. Barber Aboriginal Awards are open to all Aboriginal students. Award amounts range from $1000 to $5000.

The First Citizens Fund provides financial assistance to Aboriginal students enrolled in post-secondary education programs. Students may qualify for one of the two funding streams: $2,000 (based on financial need) or $700 (if receiving a living allowance from your Nation).

Indspire Bursaries and Scholarships are available for Aboriginal students across Canada. There are awards for all areas of study, from trades to health careers.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has as Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool. You can search for bursaries by keyword, location, program of study, or Aboriginal group.

Aboriginal students with disabilities can also locate supports and awards through the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society.


Students studying in the United States can access Pell Grants and the Canada-US Fullbright Program.

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres provides financial assistance through the Post-Secondary Support Program to Northwest Territory or Nunavut Inuit students who have been residing in British Columbia for 12 consecutive months, British Columbia registered members who do not have Band membership or an affiliation with a Band (BC General List) and Status Indian students who are affiliated with a BC First Nation as indicated on Status Card but do not have Band membership.

The Health Sciences Association (HSA) provides two $1000 bursaries to Aboriginal students from BC who are continuing or proceeding in any HSA-related field.


The Urban Spirit Foundation provides secondary and post-secondary scholarships based on need and ability, to persons of Aboriginal descent who are pursuing post-secondary studies in fields that will help meet the specific needs of First Nations, Inuit, or Métis peoples and communities.

Need help paying for school? Learn about student loans.

Student Loans