Indspire Says More Funding Needed for Indigenous Post-Secondary Students
A groundbreaking survey has found that Indigenous students in Canada continue to face barriers hindering their ability to complete their post-secondary education. The survey, “Truth and Reconciliation in Post-Secondary Settings: Student Experience,” was released today by Indspire, the national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people.
Indspire’s President and CEO Roberta Jamieson says “education fuels the hopes and dreams of our people. As the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) pointed out, “Education got us into this mess, and it will be education that gets us out.”
The survey released today shows a compelling need for more financial assistance for Indigenous post-secondary students. “It is clear we are making gains,” says Jamieson. “But the survey shows that governments and post-secondary institutions have not fully responded to the TRC’s Calls to Action. Indigenous students need us all to join hands and show them we can together meet their needs and ensure reconciliation.”
In the survey of Indigenous students who received bursaries and scholarships from Indspire, the students reported that:
- Financial needs were not met, as students required funding to help with housing, food, childcare, and travel from fly-in and geographically remote communities. This was the most significant barrier.
- More Indigenous student services were needed on campus. Where they existed, students felt validated and supported but noted staff were often overtaxed and the services underfunded.
- Programs needed more Indigenous content, especially in social work, nursing, medicine and law.
- There were too few Indigenous professors, instructors and staff, depriving Indigenous students of needed mentors and role models.
- Many students said there needed to be mandatory training in Indigenous history for all employees and instructional staff.
“The words of these Indigenous students were powerful,” says Jamieson. “That is why we have included so many of them in the report. Their courage, commitment and stories will not go unheard or unseen.”
Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of improving graduation rates for Indigenous students. In 2017-2018, Indspire provided $14.2 million through over 4,900 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. For more information about Indspire, visit indspire.ca.
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