The Government of Canada offers financial assistance to eligible First Nation and Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education, funds programs to design and deliver post-secondary programs and courses tailored to First Nation and Inuit students, and funds other career and employment-related activities.
- About post-secondary education
- Post-Secondary Student Support Program
- University and College Entrance Preparation Program
- Post-Secondary Partnerships Program
- First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy
- Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool
- Additional post-secondary federal assistance for Aboriginal students
About post-secondary education
In 2014-2015, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) invested $341 million into post-secondary education for about 22,000 First Nation and Inuit students. This investment included support for the Indigenous-led Indspire and the Purdy Crawford Chair of Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University.
INAC's post-secondary education funding supports eligible students and helps to offset tuition, travel costs, and other expenses. INAC also provides financial assistance to help post-secondary institutions design and deliver university- and college-level courses tailored for First Nation and Inuit students.
Additional programs under the First Nation and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy provide funding to eligible students to help them gain work experience and learn about different career options
Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP)
The Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) provides financial assistance to First Nation and eligible Inuit students enrolled in eligible post-secondary programs. The program aims to improve the employability of First Nation and Inuit students by providing them with funding to access education and skills development opportunities at the post-secondary level.
University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP)
The University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP) provides financial assistance to First Nation and eligible Inuit students enrolled in university or college entrance programs to help them gain the academic level required to enter a degree or diploma program.
Post-Secondary Partnerships Program
The Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP) provides funding to eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions to design and deliver university- and college-level courses tailored for First Nations and eligible Inuit students. These courses help students gain the skills they need to enter and succeed in the labour market.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities and Canada.
INAC provides funds to Indspire to:
- offer scholarships and bursaries to First Nation and Inuit students to pursue post-secondary education
- honour the outstanding achievements of Indigenous Peoples so that their accomplishments can serve as an inspiration to students and youth
- hold career fairs, targeted at Indigenous youth from grades to 10 to 12
- develop, produce and disseminate to First Nations and Inuit high-school students, curricula and other materials designed to challenge them to consider career options in industries that will experience skilled labour shortages
For more information, visit Indspire or consult the Indspire – Guidelines 2017-2018. National guidelines for 2016-2017 are also available.
First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy
The First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) supports initiatives to provide First Nations and Inuit youth with work experience, information about career options, and opportunities to develop skills to help gain employment and develop careers. This strategy includes two programs: the First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program and the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program.
First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program
The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program provides youth with employment opportunities where they can gain work experience and develop important skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork. Summer work placements allow youth to learn about career options and to earn income that may contribute to university or college education.
First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program
The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program supports initiatives that assist young people in acquiring the essential skills that will help them gain employment, function well in the workplace and learn about job and career options. The program also promotes the benefits of education to future participation in the labour force.
Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool
The Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool is a searchable list of more than 750 bursaries, scholarships and incentives available across Canada.