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Words of Encouragement

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Words of Encouragement

We know that it has been a challenging time for many of you. We asked Indspire’s donors to share some messages of encouragement to keep your spirits high during these challenging times. See below for some of the amazing words of encouragement they would like you to see.

You are not alone.

Remember you are important to all who follow you. You will be their inspiration.

– Joseph Campbell

Dear students, I encourage you to keep on going, even when the going gets tough. Learning is a lifelong enriching journey. You are the founders of our future and collectively, the beacon of hope for the betterment of our world. Thank you in advance for your tenacity and determination.

– Jo Anne Daigle

Hello! I know you are working very hard to make your dreams come true and reach your goals. Good luck and Godspeed!

– Jennifer Khan

You got this! I wish you all the best!

Dear Indspire student, congratulations on getting here, and I’m cheering you on to pursue your studies. By investing in yourself as you pursue your education, you are opening up doors for you, your family and community and those who follow in your footsteps. Soak up the experience and keep at it. You’ve got this!

Luck is the combination of opportunity and preparedness. Life is full of opposition, you must work hard for yourself. Become the version of yourself you want to be. Work hard, learn, build and be open so that you are prepared when opportunities come your way.

– Adam

Always have hope in your heart and remember that God loves you. Encouraging and loving others will bring you joy and peace.

– Barbara North

The opportunity to study is a fantastic gift. Whatever your starting point is, you can add knowledge and skills.

The ability to share your talents can be your special way to connect with others and grow with your community. The world is a better place with you and your contribution.

Thank you for every effort you make each day.

– Lorena Taraschi

I know you can do it.

– Diane Ferrara

Hang in there and give it your best! You might not believe it, but your achievements will make your community and Canada better places.

– Tim Smith

It is certainly clear that becoming educated allows one to come from a place of power. In today’s world this speaks loudly in a voice that will be heard. Attainment will allow for ongoing opportunities, which include being able to educate and mentor one’s peers.

At times it feels difficult to attain and I hope that lack of funds is never a reason to stop the process. Becoming educated is always money well spent.

All the very best,

– Judith Rackham

Education is the key to success. You must learn a skill to survive financially. Finding something that you look forward to doing each day is the key to vocational happiness. Learning from your elders is the key to wisdom.

– Stuart Ross

Hope is for everyone and having hope can get through the tough times believe in yourself that you can accomplish any challenge you can do this your journey has just begun.

If a student is willing life teaches. Chinese proverb.

Focus on the end goal, there are many temptations out there,

Think of Education as feeding the soul,

Keep the circle going we need more educators,

May your head stay clear and may your heart stay open,

May your days be bright, may your nights be calm, sleep well and start fresh,

If you learn from your mistakes they are not mistakes,

The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it is open,

Growth comes if we make the right choices-Vernon Howard.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted-Aesop!

– Mickey Parachuk

Be bold, brave, and courageous as you continue to pursue your dreams. Education opens many doors of opportunity but we walk through them and continue the journey with the support of others. Never be afraid to ask questions, reach out, and get support along the way. I’m proud of what you have accomplished so far and I believe in you. There is more to come. Never forget that you are the dream of your ancestors: have gratitude for their sacrifices and be an inspiration for those that follow!

– Natasha

Dear Amazing Students:

As you read this message, you are already on a new path in your life!! Congratulations!

As you continue your earth walk, grab on to every opportunity, no matter how big or small…remember failure brings success…..don’t give up! Prevail!!

Nothing is impossible….the word itself says

“I’m Possible”

Best of Luck to a All!

– Lynn P

Dear Indspire students,

It is a joy and an honor to be able to send you a brief message. I have loved school and learning ever since I was a kid, and I keep learning new things each day. Learning not only helps me with my life and career, it lifts my spirit. It brings me closer to my friends and family, and to the Creator. I hope it does for you as well. Respectfully yours,

– Bob McIlvride

This land belongs to you. You deserve every advantage there is to be educated, to contribute to society, to be successful in life. We owe you that and more. Seize the opportunities and encouragement with all your might and show the world that you and yours belong, are equal in mind and spirit and can be strong leaders in a world that so desperately needs them.

– Ann Marie Beacock

Believe in yourself. Your work ethic is strong and is appreciated. You are important. You are valued. Keep going.

Admiring your courage, your perseverance and uniqueness.


– Louise Morin

Each one of you are gifts from God, blessed with many unique talents, and worthy of success in all that you hope to achieve. At 76 I am still learning. Have been able to try and succeed at a multiple variety of jobs and hobbies that have given me much joy in life. I’ve been blessed by the strong support of my husband, my children, my friends, and my community of faith. You are not alone in your journey. When the going gets rough, lean on someone from you network to help you move forward. Then return that help when they need encouragement. And remember, your life matters in this world. Keep up the good work, I’m proud of you all.

– Lenna Whyte

You inspire me! You are the hope of our country and this planet. Whatever you do, no matter how hard it gets, no matter who tells you that you can’t do it, keep going! I am an elder and when I look back on what made me stronger, it was the challenges. Every bit of effort will magnify you success as a person, a community member, a child of this earth. You are a success already. You have started on an amazing journey that never ends!

– Gerry Walsh

Always act with integrity, it is the first step to genuine greatness.

– Shirley Cuillierrier

In a recent Parliament of Canada committee meeting, indigenous Tibetans told about the Chinese-language residential pre-school and grade schools being used to assimilate Tibetans against their will. It was moving to hear Tibetans ask for Indigenous Canadians’ advice and support. As you may not know it, I therefore share this, well-known in Tibet:

No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
“Never give up”

― Dalai Lama XIV

– Renée Cosgrove

I commend you on your efforts to make your world a better place for yourself and the people in your lives. Continue your studies and the beginning your careers. May enjoy good success.

– Larry

You can do this! Remember, you don’t have to do it alone: you can reach out for help to classmates, professors, friends, family, and community. Even people you don’t know are cheering you on — you got this.

– Pauline Barmby

As a retired teacher, it is with joy that I make my contribution to such a worthy cause as your education, especially to students who are working so hard to make a difference in their own lives and using their skills to inspire and support others in their journey towards a stronger and happier future. Good job Ashley and Garreth and so many others! Bravo!

– Irene Beinarovics

An education is a precious thing! Learn as much as you can to brighten your life and the lives of those around you. I am encouraged when I see young Indigenous people in professional fields. You will make the world a better place for all of us. Your efforts will pay off. The hard work will be worth it in the long run.

– Barbara Brown

You deserve to pursue an education that will help you achieve your goals. You deserve to be happy, successful, inspired. Dream big and work hard, knowing you are valued.

– Jennifer

When times are hard – as they sometimes will be – remember to look back and see how far you have come rather than worrying about how far there is to go. You have already accomplished so much and it is all just beginning. Remember that there are so many souls cheering for you and urging you on – even folks who you have never met. Laugh, eat, sleep and start again tomorrow. Reach out to others if you are low; it is a gift to yourself and to those would would lend a hand. The future is by definition unknowable but you are helping to create it. That is everything.

– Michelle Mullen

Keep up the great work! I know school can be quite the grind sometimes, but it will pay off in so many ways down the line. I remember the highs and lows of studying at McMaster University, but it all came together in the end, and I’m grateful for the time I spent there. Everything you encounter during your studies (and extracurricular activities) is sure to build character, memories, and a great foundation going forward. I wish you all the best on your journey.

–  Andrew Douglas

You are doing a fantastic job. Keep up the good work. Stay Strong!

– John Mark Robertson

I am always thrilled to read about the many directions in which young indigenous people are moving in their lives, with a little financial help. You give back so much to us, with the expressions of energy and confidence on your faces. Your lives will be a blessing to us all, bringing the insights from your heritage into a host of professions and enterprises.

To support you means a great deal to me, coming from settler stock. It is one immediate way to work for reconciliation. And also to meet you as individuals, in correspondence like this, fosters by Inspire.

– Marilyn Jackson

Your present situation isn’t your final destination.

Sometimes it feels challenging and overwhelming to pursue a goal when the pressures of every day life need to be the focus for a time. The path to a goal is like a river sometimes calm moving in a chosen direction, occasionally rough waters remind you to stay alert. Unanticipated rocks or fallen trees may require creative solutions and extra time to think a little so you can continue down the river to your destination. You can do it . You will find a way, your unique way to reach that goal. Thank you for striving to get there and being the ‘indspiration’ for others.

Growing up in an academic family, I was privileged to know that a good education was always a given for me. It is something that I have always encouraged for my own children as well. A wise woman once said to me “an education is a pretty easy thing to carry around.” For many young people, this seems out of reach so I am proud to support initiatives that will help Indigenous students find their way. Education opens doors to possibilities you may not even know exist yet. It is all worth it! The connections you make, the friends you find and the opportunities that are unlocked are life changing.

– Miriam Mann

I’m proud of you all for giving it your best at life. I pray that you continue to be encouraged in finishing the race you started. It only takes one person to start something. Let it be to build each other up. Keep your eyes on your goals and never give up. It’s a privilege to support your dreams. Cheering for you!

I teach highschool science in Toronto and I have seen many students from different life situations do well over the years. Just keep trying every day and over time you can succeed!

It has been my pleasure to assist you in some small way as you pursue your goals. I trust you had an enjoyable Christmas break!

I encourage you in all your endeavours to keep up the good work you have already accomplished. I’m sure you are and will be an inspiration to others! God bless you all!

– Wayne

In 1988, before you were born, I soloed the Canol Heritage Trail from the Mackenzie Mountains to Dehcho (the big river). This was part of the route used by the Mountain Dene every year in their life of and off the land. Like them, you must make a hard trek to complete your degree. Their skills helped them survive in the traditional times, now you must develop new skills (including life-long-learning) to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

I know you can do it. Make the trek, one step at a time!

– S.R. “Sandy”

We wish you joy in discovering and learning new things. We send you positive energy, love and light on your educational journey.

I am amazed at the resiliency of the Indigenous population, particularly the young who have the desire and willingness to witness and enact change through pursuing education. I know that through your perseverance and determination, you will succeed in your chosen fields, open pathways for more to follow in your footsteps, and help make Canada a significantly better country.

– Angela Stotyn

Hang in there! Take it from someone who knows–at times things might seem impossible, but eventually your hard work will pay off and you will reap the benefits, as will your family. You will experience such joy!

Keep up the good work! Your courage and example of pursuing an education despite the challenges and enormous amount of work entailed are an inspiration to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. You can do this!

– Anne

I am inspired to hear your stories. Your courage to live the life you want and push against the walls is a life-affirming beacon for all of us. I wish you the very best in your endeavours and throughout 2023.

– Marilyn Sundeen

Dear Student,

Just a note to encourage you on your way through your studies and whatever else is on your plate. You are to be graciously commended for your resilience, especially in light of the history of your people, who have surmounted so much injustice for centuries. You are a new light in the unfolding story of such courage and conviction, in the face of untold tragedy.God bless and keep you, God make God’s face to shine upon you God be gracious and kind to you. God bring you peace and steadfastness on your journey.

Take care.

– Patrick Callaghan

From time to time there may be roadblocks, potholes and detours. One of those detours may be a godsend. That happened to me. When I was finishing at McMaster and deciding on graduate school, a prof with whom I wanted to work because of his area of interest declined to accept me, as I was female. That decision caused me to reconsider my future. I wound up at Western, obtained a PhD, did post-graduate work and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 yr. Looking back from the perspective of a retired medical scientist, the road taken has been successful and comfortable.

– Alice Marshall

You rock!! . . . Ashley, Garreth, and all students working hard to improve your lives! Your efforts are not only appreciated, but essential to keep this country working. I truly wish you future success!

– Jim Woychuk

We are strongly believe in education. Gift for education is the best gift we could give.

– Son Ha Nguyen

Thriving against odds is something Indigenous persons have had to do too much, so I’m happy organizations like Indspire are working to tip the scale back some… But the real admiration goes to you the students! Congratulations on your determination to go forward with your education, here’s to hoping for a bright future ahead for all. May the coming year bring lucky breaks, health, support, laughter and success.

– Ariane

Hang in there students. Show up on time and do what is required and you will be successful in your work and studies, make yourself proud!

– Taylor Errol

I am so excited for learners. We need all people to learn more and teach us new ways. Thank you for this. God bless all.

– Judie Orr

Keep going – 90% of the challenge is just showing up and YOU ARE ! Keep going – your tenacity, dedication to learning and growing will continue to inspire those around you. I have found that winter is often a time when things sometimes get tougher and seem bleak. You might feel alone… but you aren’t. There are people cheering for you and wanting all the best for you. Awesome things await you ! Keep going – you’ll get there.

– Jack Smit

I see such beauty, dignity and worth in the Indigenous people of Canada. In you and your sisters and brothers here. As a musician I’m so inspired by Indigenous people, culture and art. Both contemporary and ancient. The drums, the singing, the dance and so much more. It gives me such a sense of beauty and joy when I see you and your brothers and sisters excelling in any field of practice, science, business, law, writing, art, music. It is healing. My ancestors created an unjust system of oppression that still exists today. It heals me to see you and your families stronger as we work towards the needed truth and reconciliation. That’s what we all want to see here. We want to see you and your families thrive. I’m grateful for this place that connects the community and allows us to work together towards truth and reconciliation. And I’m so inspired by your spirit, your perseverance, your mercy, your heart.

– Joel Anderson

So proud of how far you’ve come and hope you are proud of yourself. Wishing you the very best while you reach your goal! Keep on trekking! Sending love!

– Sheryn Jefferies

Congratulations for being on the education journey! This is not an easy one but it is one that will open doors for you inside of yourself and within the world. You are likely nearing the crunch time of this semester. Even the going may be tough please know you are in the right place and that many of us who support Indspire are cheering you on!!! Be strong as you share your gifts in the world via education.

– Debbie Saari

I was one of the many students who dropped out of high school in the 80’s and went back to high school years later while we raised a family. I was once mistaken for the teacher which made me laugh. This was difficult at times but worth it when I graduated and went further in my education.

I encouraged my daughters to do something in life that they love and achieve higher education to fulfil their dreams. I can see that advice was also shared with the students who benefit from Indsoire. I’m proud to be the mother of two children who achieved more in academic life than I did. One is a nurse who works in an Hospital and the other is a law clerk who moved to Yellowknife to work with the federal government. They both enjoy their chosen professions and continue to learn just for the love of it.

I hope by helping in a small way I can also help students to achieve higher education but also a love of lifelong learning. You are an inspiration to your friends, family and those who will follow in your footsteps. It may seem hard sometimes but it’s worth it. You may even enjoy learning so much you will continue with cultural and/or academic learning and pass it down to your children.

Get your education and go out there and take on the world. I know you can do it.

– Lorna MacIsaac-Rogers

I want to tell you that you inspire me by choosing to continue with your post-secondary education. In some ways, it may seem easier to just get any job after high school that does not require any specific training. However, you’ve been blessed with certain skills and abilities that are unique to you. As you develop those skills and learn how to use them, your sense of satisfaction and accomplishment will increase. Many of your parents and grandparents and generations before them never had the chance to complete high school let alone attend post secondary education. Presently, there is a new understanding in Canada that our governments have not treated indigenous people fairly in the past. I am now realizing that by isolating you and your ancestors, my parents and grandparents have contributed to this inequality and how you have been treated. When I learn that you and other indigenous teens are wanting to reach and develop your potential, I want to support you however I can. Know that I respect your work ethic and want to encourage you to keep aiming high. I want you to be the best that you can be……

– Gerry

Hi – Only a few more weeks or so until classes are finished! I know there is a lot to do, but you can and will get through it. You have accomplished so much just to get here, and you deserve to succeed. If your spirits are flagging, know that I am behind you and wishing you strength. You can do this!

– Tara McLenaghen

Greetings, I hope this finds you safe and committed to continuing what is hard work but worthwhile for your own life and for the lives of those you touch.

Building on your dreams of a better future can not only benefit you but those around you to see what it is possible to achieve through determination. You are worthy of your dreams. Keep up the work! Then pay the benefits forward.

Much happiness, Maureen.

– Maureen Adachi

Everything may feel precarious right now, and I am confident you will persevere and be successful in this stage of your life. Don’t ever forget, What you are bringing to your studies matters, and it’s meant to be challenging for your growth and that of your classmates. Good luck.

Dear students, just writing a few words to acknowledge your hard work and passion at making your (and your families) life better. Do not stray, it will worth every nickel and every drop of sweat, I warranty you. You are awesome!

– Sara Hoyos

Nearly 50 years ago I clearly remember how welcome (and vital) our student bursaries were…a young married couple studying and working, parents unable to financially assist us. We ate a lot of potatoes and rice.

I admire the courage and conviction necessary to pursue post-secondary studies…so often motivated by doing good in the world (as well as for ourselves and our circle of relations). Indigenous students face significant barriers than we did not…I cheer you on from the sidelines: bravo! bravo!

– Anne

I hope you are enjoying the summer and resting/recharging for the fall! I hope you are able to get everything you want and desire from the upcoming school year both academically and socially. Best of luck and know there are people thinking of you and cheering you on from the sidelines!!

– K. A.

Dear students of Indspire,

It was such a blessing for me to assist you in a small way to help you with your education. Once you have an education no one can take that away from you and it is something you will use and benefit from for the rest of your life. Get as much education as you possibly can while the door is open for you. I know you will never regret the gift you have in an education.

We hope our words lighten the weight of some of your concerns, and remind you that you are not alone.

The uncertainty you feel is common, and we felt it when we were young as well — but, we both know that with the effects of Covid on our country and economy the challenges are not the same as when we were young.

As I stated in the opening sentence – I wanted to remind you that you are not alone. It often feels that way, but I can assure you that the local community – your home community, and even the internet community is a connection point to help you during those times. Don’t isolate yourself, rather – look for others that “feel alone” and break the wall that surrounds yourself and them……and, in doing so – you help yourself and the other person.

Indspire has opened the door for US to help out as well — and, we trust that the donations that we and many others send in, will be a help and encouragement to you and others who have a bright future as you strive to grow and learn valuable skills and knowledge. Keep your chin up – DO YOUR BEST – and be proud of your BEST efforts. Learn from your mistakes and share the lessons you learn freely with others. In doing so, we all grow stronger and smarter together.

Take care – and know we’re cheering you on from Winnipeg, Canada !!!

– Brent and Janet Conrad

You are amazing and an inspiration to me! Back in the 70s I left university because I couldn’t make ends meet. I really thought that I would go back before too long. However, it took me 40 years to go back to my studies. For those 40 years, I felt so disappointed in myself and thought inadequate in so many ways. I want better for you.

You’re actually doing it. You’re just about there. See that?? That’s the finish line.

The pride you’ll feel is indescribable. Hang in there and be an inspiration to those coming up behind you. You got this!!!

– Mary Sarsfield

As a settler, I applaud the determination of young Indigenous students to become educated and make a difference in the world in spite of the racism that you and your ancestors have endured. Indigenous people are shining in every field in Canada today; I think you are the best hope of this struggling country as we try to reverse the degradation of the planet. Thank you.

– Kathryn McCourt

I myself know how challenging and exhausting being a student is. Sometimes, everything just piles on top of each other and it feels paralyzing. I hope you can reflect on why you are a student in the first place and what it is you hope to achieve. Forget about that one assignment that you’re procrastinating and is making you want to rip your hair out. Forget about that upcoming test, or that last test that was trickier than you thought. Just take a second to focus on the “why.” What makes you want to be a student? What can you do for yourself, your family, your community, and the world, through being a student? Schooling is not a linear success experience, so if you are in a pit, please use your resources, get the help you need, and cling onto this “why” to help push you through the tough and uncomfortable times. If you have the passion, determination, and tenacity, you can conquer the pits in the journey and arise victorious. I am so proud of you for making it this far, and please know that there are people cheering you on who know you can do it!

– Sarah Paiva Spadafora

Keep up the good work! I encourage you to overcome obstacles, and to learn more about yourself in the process. I hope you can make the world a better place!

– Jeff Klassen

Dare to dream….a bright future awaits you!

– Wendy Kirk

One of the most rewarding gifts is an education. Keep up the good work.

– Bill Franks

Education is key to learning and knowing so much about the world, but just as important, knowing and learning about yourself.

We all need love and support and education is our most profound tool to fashion our lives in order to achieve our goals. Education is the foundation from which one can learn and choose an area of expertise, follow one’s specific dream, and provide inspiration to others, and in doing so, build community.

Education is an intense manner of acquiring so many skills in a relatively short period of time, and gives us so many abilities to cope with life and its challenges. These skills and abilities are more important than ever in our quickly changing world. Do not be left behind or lost; find your place with education.

– Anna Belle Emery

I am rooting for you! Canada’s Indigenous population has been through so many difficulties and had so many of its land and resources stripped that it is a testament to your peoples’ resiliency and spirit that you continue to fight. There is a huge gap of inequality presently but I hope that starting with you the gap starts to shrink.

– Nathan Wong

Although I do not know you personally, I know you have worked hard to come this far. Education is a must for YOU and all Indigenous peoples everywhere. Please ensure it makes a difference in your life and in other lives. I came from a poor family who struggled with the costs of my schooling, but it was the most important thing when it came to opportunity and choice. So stay the course. I truly respect what you are achieving and wish you success and a healthy enriching life.

– Geraldine Campbell


I was privileged to run a cross sectoral leadership program for 3 years, and worked with many young Indigenous leaders from across the country. Their innovation, strength, and pride, was exciting to see.

It was their intelligence and enthusiasm, that enabled me to finally acknowledge that I had a role to play in reconciliation. I made a commitment to work towards the Calls to Action #92, which is why I work in reconciliation, and chose to donate to this scholarship program.

So I encourage you to always seek out opportunities to work with existing leaders, as they are eager to mentor the younger generation, and looking to build you up. But mainly I just wish you the best, and remember when you have a tough day it does get better, and there are so many people truly wishing you all the best!!

– Joanne Hughes

It is an honour and privilege to be able to provide support for you to achieve your dream in obtaining your educational goals and making your family, friends and your community proud of your aspirations. I also want to congratulate you on starting this chapter of your life! One day you will look back on this time at university/college and realize this is a huge turning point for you. The subjects you study and career you are heading towards,the friends you make and keep,the life experiences you choose to have…your options are limitless! Breathe in the freedom of endless choices and life paths. Explore. Think outside the box! We can’t wait to see you receive an Indspire Award one day yourself! As an Indigenous student, you have all of our ancestors supporting you on your journey. Remember that you are not alone!

Wishing you the best and much success !

– Natalie Ballentyne

Academic studies are a wonderful place to be to enlarge one’s view of the world, perspectives on life, and career opportunities (though not always in the ways you expect!).

But they also are often built on a model of interaction and expectations that can make any one of us feel “not enough” sometimes — like we are slower than everyone else , not clever enough, not “talented” enough. This comes from the academic world’s promotion of what is called a “fixed mindset” – that you are what you are, born with certain skills and talents and not others, that if you are “good enough” in an area you will grasp the material quickly and easily, otherwise maybe it’s not the area for you.

I want to encourage you toward a “growth mindset” instead. This perspective says that we are always growing; that challenge is what promotes growth; that if something seems “easy”, it’s probably not challenging enough; that “talent” is not necessary – just commitment to your learning.

You are enough and you CAN do this. You’re already on your way!

– Karen Shue

To Indspire bursary students, I like to remind you the quote for your steps of success in progress.

Dreams can come true, but there is a secret. They’re realized through the magic of persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus and hard work. They happen a step at a time, manifested over years, not weeks. – Elbert Hubbard

– Chandrasekar Kuppuchamy

I am so impressed by the good things I’m hearing about you, about how hard you work, about your phenominal courage and vision. No matter what happens, always remember how amazing you are!

– Vera Charles

We’re very proud and happy to help support you on your journey. Keep pursuing your dreams and never give up! You can do this!

– Cathy and Doug Lindeblom

The Indigenous cultures around the world speak to me deeply of living in harmony with Mother Earth. You are a shining light from those cultures. Never forget your brilliance. Remember where you come from as you learn and grow into the amazing person you are becoming.

– Ruth Cooper

Take a minute today thanking yourself for all that you have gone THROUGH, everything you have accomplished to date. Life is not easy and you have already survived so much. Remind yourself of the strength, perseverance and courage it took to get you to this point. Stay positive, stay strong and one day you will look back at your journey and say “I did it.”

Keep on walking in strength, keep your eyes on your goal and you will reach it!

– Lesley Rose

Keep on going. You got this!

I am sure that there are days when you wonder “what am I doing?!” Stay strong – you CAN do it. I truly respect your determination, fortitude, and courage as you work hard to further your education. You are an inspiration to so many people. Well done!

– Lea

All times have their challenges and with support by community, you can overcome them. Personally I have witnessed how some have done what the advantaged would not do. Formal credentialed education can be expensive, but often well worth it. Hope my meagre financial contribution will assist you in this journey to do what your heart wants and what society needs. May you make our world better so that I too may learn from you.

– Peter Spasov

Dear students:

I am very proud of all of you who pursue higher education, often through difficulties.

I want to commend you all for your hard work and perseverance in your courses.

I am happy to support you through Indspire and wish you all great success.

I look forward to seeing your accomplishments and the example that you will set for those who follow in your footsteps.

– Sharon Zeiler

It’s an honour to be able to provide some help and support for you to achieve your potential and make a meaningful contribution both to your community and to our country as a whole.

Our hope is that you fulfill your potential and realize your dreams.

Thank you for allowing us to play a small part in your journey.

Wishing you the best!

– Simon Kahn

Crunch time at the end of term can feel overwhelming and endless, especially if you are far from home. Please know that your family, friends and many others across the country are all rooting for you to get through the tough times and succeed. You’ve got this!

– Anne Fleming

It’s 35 years ago that I graduated with my Occupational Therapy degree from U of T and 24 years since I last worked as an Occupational Therapist, but getting that degree made all the difference to my life’s journey. Attaining that degree was tough, since I had to take out student loans and work part-time throughout my schooling just to get by. And I remember how jealous I was of those students whose parents paid their way, including holiday vacations to Jamaica! But the work and the worry were worth it. That career set me on my way, first by giving me financial security, while providing me with the satisfaction of knowing I was helping my patients achieve their goals, and then allowing me to branch out in other directions beyond that degree. And that is what I hope your education will do for you: help you develop the tools you need to achieve your own goals, whatever they may be; give you the tools to help make social and/or individual change for others; and open doors to new and wonderful experiences. Hang in through the tough times and hopefully it will be worth it for you too.

– Phyllis

Secondary Education can be daunting and hard sometimes, especially the first year. If you are in difficulty or do not understand something, ask a tutor, friend, or even the prof. Then, the projects that follow will get easier instead of harder. Graduation gives a wonderful sense of accomplishment and the knowledge gained can be very useful too. Not just in the classroom, but also in friendships formed. I am 75 and still have two best friends from my years at Queen’s University.

Good luck to you in your endeavours.

– Cynthia Nidd

Your hard work will pay off and your desire to make a difference is inspirational. Keep it up. It is not going unnoticed.

– Michele Greene

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

Stay safe, be focused and care about others . Celebrate everything that is positive in our world and we’ll be a success in the years to come.

– Ted Langdon

Just a quick note to say that completing your education can be the key to many amazing opportunities in life. It has opened many doors for me and now I am a university professor. We are all so proud of all students, and especially Indigenous students, that are working hard to make their communities a better place to live. Keep up the good work and courage!

– Adrian Burke

Education is empowering and empowerment amplifies the voice. We desperately need to hear indigenous voices. I firmly believe the survival of our planet depends on the ability of white settler culture to listen to indigenous voices. Alas, white privilege has left many of us with very poor hearing. So please study hard and, whatever field you choose, let your voice sing loud and clear. I hope you will always have the financial support you need to follow your dreams. I plan to do my part to help!

– Eleanor Casey

Beyond your wildest dreams, the best is yet to come! Keep working hard and you can make it happen.

– Ann-Marie Westgate

Cheering you on to discover & fullfill your potential!

Focus on just getting through this unsettling time, never mind aiming for A+ if that means pulling all-nighters studying. My experience from Dean’s List to being kicked out of my MBA for low marks (appealing and graduating) – marks don’t mean as much as you think for success in life. Aim for good enough and git ‘er done! Worked for me and I know teach at my alma mater.

– Patti Pokorchak

I sincerely hope that our donation does some measurable good.

– Graeme Cornies

I know studying is very hard and it seems like a long time. The knowledge you receive will help you with all aspects of your life. Keep going, it is worth it!! The best investment you will ever make is in yourself.

– Claude Tani

Education is the key to a world without prejudice, where diversity is celebrated and opportunity abounds.

You are the future leaders of a better world.

Congratulations on pursuing your dreams through education.

– Richard Oppenheim

I am a retired professor. I always saw my role as opening doors and helping my students become who they wanted to be. I always also took pleasure in seeing students who came from less privileged backgrounds compete successfully with their more privileged fellow students. Whatever you want to do, there are many of us on your side.

– Martin Klein

Talking specifically to Gareth who’s at Memorial University in St John’s. I went to MUN back in 1968. Just living in a big city was frightening enough without the added pressure of making sure I did well in my studies. I finished my B.Sc. down in Guelph Univ.in Ontario.

You , however have set yourself a real mountain to climb with both studying and raising a family at the same time. I take my hat off to you.

It makes me feel good onside to know that a lot of Indigenous, Metis and Inuit people are trying to change their world’s for the better. From all I have read and come to understand about how the world has treated indigenous people of all races I’m so pleased to help anyone who is trying to fight back. As the saying goes ” the pen is mightier than the sword” and all you wonderful people are trying to prove that. Good on you.

– Barbara Gaudry

I am personally inspired by your decision to journey through postsecondary education in Canada. I know it’s not always easy but we believe in you and we are looking forward to seeing where your vision will take you. My very best wishes go to all Indigenous students!!

– Lois Klassen

I wish you an enriching experince in the process of your education. I hope you enjoy it !
There are things that you will need to work hard for but after you do the feeling of
accomplishment is satisfying. Canada needs educated indigenous people to help improve the
lived of all. Good luck.

– Eitan Wugalter

Dear hard working student, I am a mom and a grandmother in my 76 years old. My mom was encouraging me to study until I became an engineer. I am grateful for her support and I would like to hug her many times. So, I virtually hug all of you for your hard work and your determination to fulfill your dream . You will succeed and you will be proud of your accomplishments. I am already proud of you ! Keep your heads up and look forward!

– Tereza Balog

I know that this time of year can be especially challenging for students as you’re coming up to exams and deadlines for projects and papers. You have made a commitment to yourself and your family and your community to reach for your dreams, and I hope that you will not lose sight of that. You are smart and I know that you can achieve your goals. After many years of working with women giving birth, I know that the path can be hard and for sure painful, but the joy and satisfaction that is the culmination of all that effort is so wonderful. When you feel stuck, try going for a walk and connecting with the trees, the water, the sky; let yourself feel the many ways the Creator is supporting you and all life on this precious mother earth.

– Judy

Dear Students,

There has never been a single person pursing a college or university degree who did not at one point feel discouraged. That is so very normal. I found that the best way to continue when I was struggling — and I did struggle through undergrad and law school — was to find one prof to confide in, to trust in, and to whom I could bring my fears. It was scary at first but the reward was significant. My mentor in law school shared this Beckett quote, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Because you are students and by definition learning, you will have the opportunity to try again. Please know that there are people like me across Canada wishing you on to your heart’s success.

– Kathleen Gallivan

When I went to school in the 1950s and 60s, There were black kids, Asian kids, Jewish kids, immigrant kids, and even refugees from the Soviet Union in my classes but no Native kids, no deaf kids, no blind kids, and no kids with learning disabilities, they all went to boarding schools. As a result, most people had no idea that the Indian residential schools were any different than the schools for children with special needs. In the past 20 years, society’s eyes have been opened to the horrors your parents and grandparents endured. It is your own people who have shown us the truth, your own people who, against incredible odds, became teachers, writers, journalists, musicians, lawyers, artists, and leaders. They tore back the curtain of secrets and showed society the truth, while at the same time, showing all Canadians their personal gifts and strengths and demanding national respect and accountability. You are walking in the footsteps of giants. Hold your head high as you blaze new trails. University is hard, one in four do not graduate in four years, but you have your lives ahead of you with enough time to achieve your goals.

– Veronica Leonard

You are survivors…and more. From the days of my teens and reading about indigenous people around the world I knew that there was something special about indigenous cultures but so sad and shameful in how folks had been treated. Now more and more I’m seeing change come. Now young indigenous people like yourselves in different places we’ve lived – New Zealand and Australia and Nunavut and NWT-are speaking out and claiming pride in their heritage. You are moving past the struggles and horrors of previous generations and owning the future. It won’t always be easy but You’ve got this!! And now, finally, you have the hearts and minds of many many non-indigenous folks behind you as well. You are leaders. You are the Hope for the future. You are so full of potential. You are the culmination of the love your ancestors sent forward to you. Be your best You. I send you love and strength to clear the hurdles and find balance, fulfillment and mostly happiness in your lives.

– Donna Newhook

Dear Students,

I am most impressed that you are bettering your education, particularly in this difficult pandemic time. I taught many indigenous students at NorQuest College in Edmonton and appreciated all that they had to contribute to the school. I know it is not without a great deal of hard work that you are where you are. All the best in your future work.

– Lorna B.

Hey fellow students,

I am a settler living and attending school on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx/Okanagan people in British Columbia. I’m taking an Environmental Management diploma program, and recognise the absolute importance of Indigenous perspectives and leadership in repairing the damage done to our natural environment. I am particularly awe-inspired by the work of Okanagan Nation Alliance in returning the sockeye salmon to the Okanagan! Being a student is hard work and a serious financial struggle, but we can do it! I believe in you, and look forward to working with you one day in whatever capacity to help make a positive difference in this world!

– Sheila Kerr

I can’t express how much I have enjoyed reading the stories of students who are able to continue their studies with the support of Indspire. You are an inspiration to us all and if our donation helps you continue your journey, I am happy to ‘Indspire’ you.

– Anne

Congratulations and best wishes.

– Shirley

Congratulations on your hard work and determination to get you this far and closer to your goals! Let me remind you you’re not done yet. Focus on what’s in front of you today and put that work in, your success will influence and pave the way for those around you. You got this.

– Christopher Desjarlais

Congratulations on furthering your studies. I’d like to share a teaching from my mother: ‘Apply for whatever interests you! If you don’t get it – you haven’t lost anything – but if you don’t try you’ll never know if you could have done it.’ Those words lead me from Vancouver to Quebec City and later to Kiel, Germany and Rennes, France – new teachings and new friends.

Solidarity in all you do.

– Susan Stout

You already sound like leaders – bright, purposeful, optimistic young people seeing the way ahead as challenging and exciting and full of wonderful surprises. I wish you full rich lives sharing your success with others.

– Nola Whittall

I know sometimes participating in making change happen can seem like a burden. You give me hope that I might see meaningful change in society during my lifetime. Be gentle and kind to yourself and others but be fierce when it comes to standing up for your rights and opportunity to fully participate in whatever field of study you have chosen. Your determination is very important to those of us who are no longer in the workforce and the generations that are coming into it. Remember to breathe deeply when you feel overwhelmed, time passes and you get through whatever difficulties or challenges you face, it is important to celebrate your successes and learn lessons from when things don’t go the way we planned. I am so proud of each and every one of you for taking these steps!!!

– Anne Juneau

I so much admire your decision to carry on with your education and it is a privilege to be a small part in helping you.

Years ago I was involved in the development of a large hydroelectric project on the Nelson River in Manitoba called Limestone. As suppliers to the project we invested funds and support to create new indigenous businesses in the area.

I hope you will discover new ways to empower your indigenous community wherever you are through the education you are working hard to achieve.

I send my love and respect to you.

– Gord Drew

I am incredibly impressed with your determination and resilience and want to encourage you to keep doing what you need to do in your life, for your life!

– Lisa Evered

Education is very important in today’s world. It not only gives a student knowledge, it also instills self-confidence. I wish all of you well in your studies.

– Gail Kostash

This hearfelt message is to cheer you on. I went to University after I had my children and I realize that it was the best thing I had ever done. You will continue to grow as an individual and you will inspire and affect others . That way we will make the world a better place.

– Tryntje Evans

To the students working so very hard in their chosen areas of study, i hope you never lose your quest for knowledge, that your curiosity motivates, and your interest sustains you, throughout your entire lives.

Having “missed out” on pursuing my education, whether it was financial or lack of self-belief or otherwise, please know that there are many out here like myself who are so very inspired by your determination, and happy to help in any way we can.

May your experiences of place and people feed your spirit and fulfill you in a way that makes it possible to share and pass on your gifts with others. and please remember there are many unseen hands and voices who hold you and call out their encouragement to, and pride in, you.

– Renée Olson

I am so proud of you and the effort you are making to be one of those people who make the world a better place. I know it’s not always easy, financially or emotionally, but you must believe that that are many people like myself who believe in you , respect you and love you. Don’t ever lose faith in yourself!

– Sandra Frisby

You will be part of a new world and we wish you the best of everything!

– Wanda Fowler

Sometimes things will seem hard and you might be discouraged. Please know that there are so many people who care, and are cheering for you every step of the way. You are awesome, and you’re going to do this. I’m proud of you, but far more importantly be proud of yourself!

– Shelley Ballantyne

Having witnessed the arduous journey my daughter took towards obtaining her Ph.D., while at the same time being the main support of her family and also having 3 of her 4 children during her studies, I am full of admiration both for her and for you all in continuing on the path to higher education. I am honoured to be able to offer any support I can to help along the way, and wish you all the best for now and in the future.

– Deborah Varley

Keep working hard towards your goals and reach out to Community partners for the support that you need along your journey. We are all proud that you are staying focused and sacrificing what is needed for your development and in building your foundation for your future.

– Justin Broderick

I often think about you.

I am honored to have the possibility to give a hand.

When I was about 35 years old I read this phrase: « Integrity is one of several paths, it distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost. »*

You are walking your own path. You chose the many challenges you are now facing and you are doing your very best to realize your vision. Step by step.

From time to time , take a step back, and appreciate your efforts and your journey. Be proud. And be grateful.

I often think about you, and I wish you the best.

– Johanne Ratelle
Godmanchester, Qc

* M. H. Mckee

I’m excited to start supporting indigenous students as of this year under the “John Bernard Kennedy” bursary, in memory of my brother John. Looking forward to connecting with the recipient(s), hear about your dreams, and see if I can help in any other way. While I have been mentored, and I have mentored, it’s so, so important top remember that people genuinely want to help in any way they can, so ASK! It’s easier than you think.

– James Kennedy

Hang on and keep up the good work. Rest assured that your hard work and struggles are making a big difference for yourself, your family, people who later look up to your example and the rest of your community.

– Sai Wai Ip

When I look at all that is going on in the world today I sometimes get a little down and feel a bit hopeless. Then I think I think about the youth such as yourselves and I feel a little more hopeful. Never doubt the importance of what you are doing. The indigenous ways are what is going to pull us out of the mess we are in. I’m not only speaking about climate but also as a society. There is so much to learn and to recover and uncover. You are forging a path for future generations. You bring hope not only to the older generations but you also are setting a very important example to the younger generations as well. Thank you so much for your dedication to learning and perserverance despite the adversities you have faced. I wish you success and joy on your journey!

– Bobbi-joWith McGlynn

Dear students, I am a happy 90 year old, what I want to tell you is from my own experience.

I never had the chance to go to university but in those days was ok.

What I want to emphasize is, today is very important to have a education, please go to school and try to study and have fun at the same time, if you love to learn you will be happy and your Family very proud, you are the future. Love to all of you.

– Maria Ines Burke

What an amazing group is Indspire!! Contributing is a pleasure knowing how it will help the native community in furthering education!!! We will continue to donate in the name of our granddaughter Isabel Davis who is 11 and very interested in the Canadian Native population!

– Barbara Hall

This message of support is geared to indigenous technical students, although I hope those in an non-STEM area will also get something from it. I have a PhD in elementary particle physics from the University of Toronto and have been a long-time member of both the Canadian Association of Physicists and the Canadian Nuclear Society. For over 30 years I have worked in the Canadian nuclear reactor industry. I did not get to this point in my life without some significant struggles. For instance, I almost gave up a number of times in university. What brought me through was not ‘sheer determination’, but key relationships that I could trust, such as friends and professors. Over the years I have learned that to excel in technical pursuits, you need a laser focus on the subject balanced with the recognition that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity. Allow your life to have other facets beyond your work – things that bring you health and happiness without unwanted consequences. Excel in your pursuits and may they bring you happiness and fulfillment.

– Randall McArthur

I am reminded of a line from a poem that goes something like this, ”there are little eyes upon you and they’re watching day and night, there are little eyes upon you to see what’s wrong and right.” (Apologies to the author who’s name I don’t recall.) You have taken a big step forward and now stand as a role model and leader wether you recognize that or not. Like a pebble thrown into a pond the ripples go on and on and your example can and will inspire others. Continue to have faith in your abilities and trust that there is no growth without struggle. All good things.

– Larry

As a junior high math teacher, I always used to tell my students to do the very best they could with what they had. Pay no attention to someone else’s negative evaluation of you because only you know how hard you have worked and all the difficulties you have overcome. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get to where you want to go. As Brene brown says, the trick is to pick yourself up as many times as you get knocked down. It happens to all of us. I sat outside my advisor’s office and cried with fear and frustration when I was working on my master’s degree. A friend came along, sat down beside me and offered … I don’t know anyone with a master’s degree that hasn’t done that at some point. So I picked myself up and put one foot in front of the other. My counsellor said … when you can’t see very far … go as far as you can see. My high school math teacher constantly told us … nothing ventured, nothing gained. All the best to all of you who struggle to make a difference in this world. My thoughts and prayers and financial support are with you.

– Betty Doherty

You are special. Always be positive. Be a leader and be diligent. The sky is your limit to fulfill your dreams and aspirations. Work towards your goals and never give up. Be a role model for your community and the world. Develop good skills to be a productive citizen of the world. You could do it. Be consistent and success will come abundantly. Your community and the world need you. You could make the difference for a better world.

– Wazir Mohamed

I have unlimited admiration for your dedication to academic success. As a former mature student, I know there is a level of commitment required that defies description. Well done for giving it your all. And keep at it. Personal achievement and growth come with unique and intrinsic rewards worthy of your efforts.

– Linda Lyons

At 86 years of experience I am honoured to be asked to encourage young Indigenous students to press on … it’s in your culture to do so. I have been an advocate for First Nations equality most of my life … I bear a tattoo on the inside of both my forearms as a statement that “Every Child Does Matter”. You may be past that age of development but trust me the child in us never leaves. My peers are nodding their heads … lol! Don’t give up … EVER … your time is fast approaching. The TRUTH is being unveiled for everyone to witness. You ARE the future of our Nation … hold that thought!! If the early migrants … invaders reallly … had pursued your forefather’s way of life rather than forcing their failing culture on your ancestors how great Canada would be today! May Love and Peace envelop your world, and may all manifestations bring you Joy.

– Edgar Murdoch

I am honored to contribute to the Indspire fund. I hope my small gift will make a difference. I wish you good success and all the best in making your dreams come true! It’s not going to be easy but you’ve got this and always remember you’re not alone!

– Anne-Francoise Rattis

I don’t know you personally, but I’m a college teacher and I know many like you. Folks that persevere though lack of support – emotional or financial – and setbacks (plenty of them with COVID). Know these things; If you’ve made it into post secondary education, you have what it takes – all you need now is perseverance. Know that what you’re doing will dramatically change your life for the better, know that you will be a model for others and that you have my admiration.

– Margaret Carter

Hi! We have a son who just started his first year of university away from home for the first time. I think what we told him is the same thing I would like to tell you – We are proud of you and everything you have done to get to this point. Ask for help when you need it and surround yourself with people that like you and inspire you to be your best.

Good luck with all that you are doing! Stay healthy and strong. We need you.

– Judy Silver

In an ideal world there would be no systemic institutional barriers ( historical and current) to any and all, striving as individuals on an even playing field. My hope is that my small contributions are helpful in redressing advantages to those disadvantaged by these obstacles. Best wishes to all participants!

– Zal Davar

I am old. I want you to know that I and many others like me want you to succeed and be happy. I was a single mom when I decided to go to university again because I needed to support myself and my kids. I got a grant to go to school to become a teacher when I was 46! I also worked before and after classes every day and took housekeeping jobs when I could get them. I guess I’m writing this to let you know that you are not alone and that we understand what it is to have to get an education the hard way. Keep going! Keep pushing forward, even when you are exhausted and you feel like you can’t do it. Friends and teachers helped me on my worst days…even some counselling. You will get through to achieve your dreams and I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart, little brothers and sisters! Keep going!

– Gerry Walsh

I am so incredibly inspired when I read the stories about students who are receiving aid from Indspire! Education is even more important now that when I was at school (many years ago!). The workforce is changing rapidly and and in order to keep up, students need to learn the skills that will allow them to adapt quickly. No matter what you’re studying, you’ll have the ability to fill jobs that may not even exist yet. The sky’s the limit!

– Sheila McKee-Protopapas

You’re doing great. And you will surely do more great things. Wishing you all the best for success and happiness.

– Sean

“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” – Oprah Winfrey

May your education bring you endless opportunities, success and happiness.

– Erin Christie

Having parts of our identities where we don’t always feel like we fit in or have others who identify as us in those spaces, can make it very hard to succeed in school and work. Know there are people out there pulling for you and we know all the talents you have. Unleash those talents for all to see!

– Matthew French

I hope that all Canadians pull together and commit to making our land and peoples, the best that they can be. I am inspired by the plans and goals of Indspire students who want to, and are currently doing this. I can breath more deeply, knowing that better is on the way. It is very exciting to see this emergence.

– Brian Cross

As a first-generation PhD student, and I know how important funding can be. Hopefully these scholarships can make things a little easier. Good luck with your studies!

– Nico Mara-McKay

You have the strength to succeed!

Focus on your goal.

Your loving circle is here to support you.

– Paul Parker

It is difficult to be “ the other”, especially in your native home. I know this feeling and the feeling of not having roots or history. My parents were Holocaust survivors and growing up I had no grandparents, cousins or any links to my history. Like Indigenous cultures our history was story based and dependant on surviving elders. As I age, I crave these roots and my curiosity and sense of pride at the ability of my parents to survive, leads me to research and hunt down as much of my history and the history of my “nation”.

This background makes me find a deep kinship to Indigenous youth.

For this reason I share elements that helped me find who I am and where I belong. Seek out your history and own it. Love yourself as a result of your roots and bring pride to your ancestors by becoming the best you can be, embracing the world and all its inhabitants!

– Natasha

Stand up, be proud. Your ancestors went through a lot so that you can be standing here today. Those seven generations that came before you are proud of you and you are about to embark on an incredible adventure in education so that you can be a good ancestor for the next seven generations. It’s so important that you, your voice, your perspective is part of the conversation at whatever educational institution you choose to attend. Congratulations on your journey so far. Keep it up and remember who you are.

– Jennifer David

It is an honor to send you a message of encouragement…..getting through school is never easy and I can only imagine it is made that much harder when faced with financial challenges. Your strength and determination will not only help you get through this challenge but it will give you a depth of character that the average person doesn’t have. It will serve you well not only to overcome school but other challenges you may face. Stay the course, it won’t always be perfect but seeing it through to the end is a feeling that can never be taken away from you. They never asked me what my grades where, just if I graduated. Keep at it, one day, one week, one course at a time.

University life is tough and I commend you for your hard work and perseverance. I’d encourage you to continue your focus on what you dream to achieve. Choose your friends and how you spend your time wisely. Like some of you, I worked 20 hrs @ minimum wage while in school. I had to struggle with language since English is my second language. Once I graduated, I faced prejudice and discrimination when applying for jobs. It’s easy to do that, they just needed to look at my name on the resume.

Consider any of these external reactions as distractions. Shrug them off. Believe that you have a place in the world. Believe that you have value/worth. Believe that there is a portion already set aside for you. All you need is persistence in order to grab it. Never stop trying.

I remember what it felt like when I went back to school after over 8 years. Initially,as I sat in class, there were times when I felt like an imposter saying to myself ‘do I really belong here with all these other students?’ I realized though that I had a spark of curiosity, an eagerness to learn and courage to ask questions or give voice to a difference of opinion. Know this,that no matter how long you have been out of school or what you choose to study, you belong in that classroom. Your life experiences will enrich the conversation, your perspective will excite and sometimes challenge another student’s thinking and this is a good thing, because this is how we grow in our learning. Best Wishes for wherever your learning path takes you.

– Catherine Smith

Hello amazing Indspire learners! Congratulations on the progress you’ve made in reaching your goals. You are building a better future for yourselves and for those you care for. You inspire with your effort and potential, and multitudes of people see you and are pulling for you. You may have experienced headwinds, some of which are unjust, but the world is changing for the better and you have a strategic place in our shared future. I’m pulling for you!

– Scott

Hello All You Amazing Students:

I am moved by your courage to show up, pursue your dream and your passion in the face of many difficulties and barriers. It is a privilege to play a small support in supporting you and cheering you on. May you be inspired by what you are learning, may you reach out for help when the going gets tough and may you sense the encouragement all around you as you engage with the work or learning and living, day by day, week by week. I am proud of what you are doing, great work.


– Brent Unrau, Surrey, B.C.

I hope you are very proud of yourself and all your accomplishments.

Congratulations and best wishes as you go forward.

– Karen Walker

I am in awe and have so much respect for your desire for more learning. May you have persistence and courage as well as the joy of creating and learning, so that you can do the things that matter to you, for your own selves and for your communities.

Very best wishes!

– Lorna Tener

I am inspired by your effort to get an education and to contribute your strength to this world by the pursuit of knowledge and accomplishment. May you be able to enjoy the process of learning and accomplishing your goals while cultivating the richness of each moment and each day. Never forgetting that we are each unique, but we are more alike than we are different. Strength and joy to each of you.

– Bonita

Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I am encouraged and inspired by your commitment and perseverance.

Post Secondary education at anytime is a challenge, the pandemic has made that even more difficult.

I have been an educator for over 35 years, now retired, and my best advice is to trust your gut – you have already proved your determination and resilience. When we are trying to learn /process individually or in a team and it just isn’t working – stop, take a break – outside if possible, and when you come back to it try something different. You may want to find another source – the sites or books you are using just may not be”speaking” to you, the way a team has been organized just isn’t productive/supportive. We all learn different things in different ways and finding what works best for you and any team that you are working with is the first step.

– Franklynn Chernin

Remember there is no such thing as failure, unless you give up. Every time you don’t succeed is just a practice session, until you do succeed. Some things take longer to achieve than others. Don’t beat yourself up if every day is not better than the one before as there will be setbacks along the way. It makes success that much sweeter. And when I wanted to put something in perspective I would ask myself to think about what my thoughts on it would be in 5 years time. It’s amazing how many things that I thought were life and death were totally insignificant just a short time later. Hang in there, you are stronger than you realize.

– Deedee Davies

Congratulations! You have taken the first step to make a difference in your world. Every student is growing themselves into a special person. Whatever you have chosen as your education path, it makes a difference.

Blessings to you and your family and everyone supporting you. You can do this! You are stronger than you think.

– Joan Gaetz

As an older Canadian who worked in post-secondary education (Student Services) for many years, I am so proud of your decision to continue your schooling. It is my hope that you have people around you to support and encourage you in your studies. Take one day at a time and celebrate small victories: meeting new friends, getting an assignment done, talking to an instructor after class. You’ve got this.

– Kathy Harper

Find courage and be strong in yourself and in your studies knowing that many people across your homeland support you, pray for you, and have faith in your future! You have much to offer this country and this world. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. Stay safe! Make good choices!

– Deborah Guthrie

You got this!

Studying, working, and caring for your loved ones is a heavy load, but you can handle it. One step at a time, and remember – we’re so proud of you!

– Deb


I’m so proud of your passion for study! You can do this, just keep going as far as you can and as often as you need to!


– Rob Billard

As a recent graduate during this pandemic, I am rooting for you! I know this has been a hard time. I do not know if this will help but I suggest that you mentally give yourself a gold star for every big or little thing you do every day. I found for me this kept me productive in my studies and it helped me be really active during this time. I was able to thrive as a student in the pandemic and I want you to as well. And also, it’s okay to self-care if you need to. Without you, there can be no you that can do the things you’re currently working hard for.

I hope as support for you grows, especially in recent months, that things can get better for you. Canada needs you and all of your voices contributing to make it a better place!

– Zain Rajani

Congratulations – to use baseball imagery, you have stepped up to the plate, and you are going to hit that ball wherever you want it to go! Be careful to stratagize: better to be present and aware every moment than count on being the one who hits the ball out of the park. (In other words, divide up your assignments into doable parts even if it means doing some early; don’t be the student who tries to cram 5000 exams and papers into the last week!) And don’t forget to have fun. At least once a week, laugh yourself silly, stop to smell a wild rose, hug somebody, let yourself be hugged back, and enjoy the whole experience of being you.

– Suzanne Edgar

Congratulations for your work in following your dreams. Sometimes, the road seems long and arduous, but you can do it – I know you can.

We are proud of you.

I am a recently widowed senior who has been luck enough to Have some Indigenous relatives. They have all worked hard to achieve high educational goals and I was lucky enough to help one of them achieve her goals. She is now a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

If you need someone to talk to or maybe just give you encouragement, I can help. From personal experience, I know how important that can be.

– Carole Alton

You are an inspirational person. You’ve taken the courageous steps to follow your dreams and make your family’s lives better. Keep up the hard work, it will yield great results.

– Rochelle Relyea

Your hard work will bear fruit. It already has. You are the inspiration for younger students who benefit from your leadership and values.

– Judy Lightwater

Always do your best and never give up. Follow your dreams and remember you have the ability and strength to accomplish anything you can dream. Wishing you every success.

– Vera Askew

I am a senior, and I continue to be inspired by your dedication to fulfilling your dreams to make this world a better place. At your age, we had our own challenges, but I do acknowledge that yours today are particularly intense.

I encourage you to continue to respect hard work and critical thinking. Do not underestimate the power of distractions and indulgences to take you off-course. Stay focused, and be grateful for family and friends. Finally, enjoy what you are doing, knowing that it makes a difference.


– Vicki Rostant

We are so proud of you! We appreciate that what you are trying to accomplish can be hard. But your efforts will be worth it. Hang in there. You can make a positive difference in the world.

To all the hard working students. As we all know it takes a lot of self motivation in tough moments. I hope to encourage you to continue your qualifications and add to them all your lives.I am sending you strength and perservierance wishes for every single day.

– Heidi Carolyn Riggenbach

All of us are faced with great opportunities that are disguised as impossible situations. Keep pushing!

– L. Harry

I didn’t have much growing up but we had a happy family until my teens when i lost my brother and my dad. I really wanted to go to Art school but that was out of the question-no money. I got a student loan and did a one year course that got me into the work force. I eventually got my BA at night school and it took almost 15 years but I did it. I was the first person in my family to get a BA.

I know most of you have had a lot to deal with in your young lives but you can’t let that hold you back. With some determination , you can do it. You deserve it. You have a right to it.

I hope we’ll have a better world in the future where we can all feel equal. Together, let’s make that happen.

Good luck to you in your future endeavours. I’m rooting for you!

– Helen Duplassie

I am one of many many people rooting for you to succeed! You will do great things!

– Kelly M

Don’t give up. This country owes you so much, so reach out and take it. We want you to succeed. This country should be yours, and the further you go, the more it becomes so.

– Charles Randall

Education is the pathway to a wonderful future. Don’t give up, no matter how tempting that may be! We are all pulling for you!

– Anne Marie Ferguson

You can do this. You deserve success in life, however you define it. You are the change we want to see in the world. Individually you might be weak, but as a collective you are strong. Keep a strong heart and know that we are rooting for you all.

– Roberta K

What a year and a half this has been! I am so proud of you for sticking to your studies despite all the uncertainties, ups and downs since COVID started. The lessons you’ve learned inside and outside of class will stay with you your whole life long: you are strong, resilient and creative! As you work towards your goals, know that I am cheering you on and have faith in you – wherever your studies may lead you.

– Anne

Education is the Gateway to many opportunities!

– Ken Flannagan

You can absolutely 100% do this. I went back to university a couple years ago, in my early forties, to pursue a degree that was much more academic than my first, and there were so many times I felt lost and incapable. More than once I took a moment to wonder why the heck I had decided to do this. But those moments passed, and I learned. I pushed myself, and I learned. I stumbled, and I learned. Those moments are part of the journey, say hello to them, breathe, and then keep going. I believe in you!

– Erin Millar

You can do this! I entered university at the age of 44. I was also a single mom. I graduated last year. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much about myself. Stand tall,be proud of who you are and enjoy all the new experiences coming your way. The future needs you. Many blessings to you all.

– Linda Angus

So proud of you. I know your road has not been easy but I know you are paving the way for others to follow.

I am so happy I learned about Indspire through a local charity – I have resolve.

I hope you know that for many Canadians we feel that our eyes have finally been opened to our terrible mistakes of the past and present. As a former teacher, I want to help make your future better.

– Dale Shannon

Getting an education is your pathway to a future of hope and success. A good education will give you the tools to make a positive impact on your family, your friends, your community and your country. A good education will give you self confidence and a sense of well being.

– Daniel Toews

Sending lots of encouraging wishes your way! Please know there are so many of us who are cheering for you and celebrating with you as you accomplish your dreams of contributing to our communities both immediate and country-wide. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to your chosen field of study(ies).

ᐊᕀᐦᐊᕀ (Ayhay)
ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᐣ (Kinanâskomitin)
ᒦᒃᐌᒡ (Mîkwêc)

As an educator, I know first hand what a good, quality education offers people. Not only does it offer the promise of hope and stability; it also builds confidence and character, creates opportunities, and empowers you with knowledge. Knowing that you are in the pursuit of your educational goals is an inspiration to everyone but especially the youth who will follow your lead and reimagine their own futures based upon your courageous steps forward. Wishing you much joy and growth in the learning process!

– Jennifer Pouw

We are proud of all that you have accomplished. I admire your spirit. You are part of building a brighter future.

– Linda P.

Forward! One step at a time.

– M Milne

I love reading the stories of your struggle to success. I am as proud of you all as I am of my daughter and grand children.

– Linda Golini

At age 19, I made the decision to become a professional dancer. Ten years later I was the resident choreographer for CTV Network. Never give up your dream.

– Ken

What you do helps to make Canada – the world – a better place.

Seize the opportunity to fulfill your potential. You are inspiring people around you!

Being a student is not always easy, but in these times, particularly difficult. Keep going!

Knowledge is a comfortable and necessary retreat and shelter for us in an advanced age; and if we don’t plant it while young, it will give us no shade when we are old. Knowledge is power.

– Clinton A.M. – P.T.O

Good Luck with your studies.

Believe in yourself and you will be surprised how many others will believe in you, too. Each person has their own gifts and story. We need you all! You are on your journey – keep going.

I am so happy all of you are getting an education or being trained for a trade. A lot of people will hire you. I pray for all of you.

– Elizabeth (Betty) V

I am delighted to contribute to the Indspire fund. I hope my small gift will make a lot of difference. All the best!

– Fran McKeague

I’m sure you know how crucial education is to your future and the future of your family and community. So hang in there. You can do this and many are supporting you.

– Glen Davis

My dear friends, I came from the Czech Republic in 1969 without anything, with 2 children and a husband. It was very difficult and I didn’t know any English. But what you people went through is terrible. I wish you the best since only education is the answer. Courage.

– Emilie Hejna

Be the change you want to see in the world. Be the light we all need. We’re all one. Revel in your education.

– Donor from Vancouver

Three Simple Rules of Life:

  1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
  2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
  3. If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.

Never give up!

– Bud from Calgary

I will be 80 years old Dec 27 2020, my big one. Many people don’t make it to 80 years, so I am lucky. Because of COVID-19 I will postpone my big birthday party until next year. Don’t give up on your education, even if you have to wait a year. I was born in Lloydminster Saskatchewan 80 years ago. “Life has its up and downs.” Don’t rush life, you have 80 years to get there. God bless.

Dear Student, it is so good that you have been given support to follow your dreams through education. Your gifts and your insights are needed in the world! Never give up!

– Jane Keeler

I am so grateful to see young people who strive to strengthen their educational standing… it gives me a good feeling to offer my support to this end.

– Paul Benson

I am a nurse (retired now), education will always help you throughout your life. Good luck with you studying.

– Lynne

Sometimes the going will get rough, but keep a stuff upper lip and go forward. Niá:wen.

I love all of you! Native people are wonderful! I know you will do well! Do not forget your language and beliefs!

– Freda Von Gernet

Dear people! Yes, you inspire me to write this message! Keep on going!

Remember the seeds of personal growth and greatness are the failures, and pain and suffering, of today.

– Brian

I’m a retired teacher of English and know the value of education. I also know that students face tremendous challenges to meet their goals. I want you to know that I am so proud of you, that I hope you have caring, wise, and inspiring teachers, and I wish you every success in meeting your goals.

– Jennifer Walcott

Dear Students,

Believe in the power, the pride, the great beauty and strength of your culture and Identity of birth.

Your ancestors are cheering you on with all your endeavours to better yourself with learning and dignity. You are the regeneration of your culture, gifting us with your talents, your wisdom and intelligence from your healing journey and learnings.

– Ruth Shushan

May God bless you as you continue to follow your dreams.

– Patricia Ruth

Wishing you success with your studies – and also your impact on Non-Indigenous colleagues, who can/will/must! learn from you.

– Michael Meagher

Focus not on how far you have to go but on how far you’ve already come. Be open to possibilities and to change. Walk with hope in your heart.

– Donor from Vancouver

Hi Friends,

This year must be especially tough for many of you. Far from family or trying to learn via Zoom-teach, you may be feeling pretty depressed about it all. Please, please stick with it. Your community needs young educated people to return home and be the leaders of tomorrow. They’re counting on you!!! If you’re sad, call family or friends. Don’t let the spiral of depression begin. Put on some music, dance, drum. Watch a YouTube video called “Feel the Inoukness”, which always works for me.

Good luck to all of you, and stay strong!!!

We believe in you!

– The Mirza Family

I enjoy reading of your endeavours and successes particularly in these difficult times. You are the future leaders, not only in your community, but for all of Canada.

– A donor from Nova Scotia

Please keep faith in your abilities and work towards your dreams of the future. It’s harder for you, especially because of the pandemic, but don’t give up. A lot of people like me are rooting for you. Best wishes.

– Valerie Gale

You are valued.

– Donor from Vancouver

Apart from having a good childhood, education is the most important goal. I had to travel from up north to Victoria to pursue post high school training, it was worth it.

– Camille

Keep up the good work! There are people who wish you well – and keep you in their thoughts and prayers – and who wish they could do more to help you!

– Donor from Vancouver

Remember – everyone is special – there is no one like you – Don’t ever give up. God loves you and gives you his peace.

– Ray

Warmest wishes for the holiday season and keep up being a remarkable young person we can all be proud of.

– Maryann

Dear Students, you are the future hope of our world. You have the ability to bring the peace and harmony that we all long for. We are all one. Blessings to you all.

– Mary

With this small gift are my prayers for health and safety for you and yours, praise in your successes, in your determination and strength to continue on your path, encouragement of your many continued successes. Also to suggest to focus, as you work through the injustices, hardships, pain and more, on the strengths, the strong foundations you are building, and confidence you share with yours.

– Dianne H.

Very best wishes.

– Donor from Vancouver

Just to let you know that there are people that care for you. Keep up your studies. God Bless.

– Jimmi (James Way)

Hang in there! Your education is worth it. Someday we will look back on these COVID days and, with luck, laugh about the craziness of the time.

– Kay (Kay Yee)

You are incredible for trying to get an education despite the barriers facing you. Keep on improving yourself every day. The Creator and your family are proud of you. Stay strong!

– Donor from Vancouver

Get an education and doors of opportunity will open for you – lifelong! Enjoy!

– Donor from Vancouver

There will be obstacles, there will be doubters, there will be mistakes, but with hard work there are no limits! Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do! I am 90 years old and grateful for my hard working, mostly happy long life and I wish the same for each of you!

– Jocelyn (Joy) Hogg

Keep your eyes focused on your goals and future – You can do this! Stay positive.

– Linda Orme

You’re not alone many are cheering for your success. May Canadians listen to the wisdom of Indigenous peoples, like you.

– Lynn

Even though it can be very hard even lonely at times, getting an education is one of the very best things you can do for your long-term well-being and for your future and the future of your family.

– Donor from Vancouver

Learn! Grow strong in your culture! Try to be one who helps remove the scales of ignorance from many eyes- of all colours. I bless your efforts!

– Jerry Mercer (Lucky old white guy who just got woke!)

Wishing you much success and a happy life!

– Elsa

In 1969 another man and I lived in a 2 room cabin- as our students did. We loved being with those young adults and have loved being with Blackfoot, Tsuut’ina and Nakota adults (at Morley, AB). Your people have greatly enriched my life.

– David Sweeney

I’m a bilingual Secondary School teacher.

I can’t begin to humbly feel, know and much less understand the past. However, the only thing that I know which brings success to anyone, is firstly, not to give up, and secondly, only repeated and continued hard work can bring you success. ‘YES WE CAN’ (Obama). ‘Remettez cent fois votre métier à l’ouvrage’. The translation that comes closest would be:

‘Don’t give up, and keep that resilience going, no matter what,’ Or ‘Put your craft back to work a hundred times’.

Do not frown on your past, and regret the struggles, hardships, nor the obstacles, for it is because of that suffering which has shaped you into the person you are today, with all the knowledge and experience, not forgetting what you had to endure that defines you, and become that special person that you are.

There is hope, and when we think there isn’t, at that very moment, suddenly, hope always springs up to manifest what was already there.

– Joyce Gagnon

I am just darn proud of you and hope you will do all you can to govern Canada

– Emily Best

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.

– Jeremy Hodgson

Incorporate what you experience in your life with what you are learning in school and you will contribute to building effective, compassionate, and successful solutions for the future. Your knowledge and efforts are important and appreciated.

– Rebecca Johnston

Knowing that you are engaged and dedicated to your studies inspires me. You will the leaders of the future, and that gives me great hope for family, our country and world. When things get tough, remember that you are not alone. Reach out to those around you, help and support is all around you, all you have to do is ask! Also, remember to take care of yourselves and take time out for fun it will give you new energy and passion for your studies.

– Crystal Sissons

WOW! You are doing amazing work!! Staying focused on school work is hard, let alone during a global pandemic. Take one day at a time, and if you need a break then take it. Breaks are VERY important (maybe have a little treat too :)) I’m so proud of you no matter what! You’ve ALREADY changed the world just by being you. Keep going, you got this.

– Erin Conway

Remember this note of encouragement when you’re half awake at 4:00am trying to finish an essay for an irritating professor: every single thing you do can be a gift to this world. You just have to have the courage to make that choice. And you, my friends, are already so courageous! You are strong and resilient and influential and determined. Even though it might be late and you can’t stretch out the words in that essay any longer, remember the hugely important impact you as students have on others. On your family. On your friends. On people who wholeheartedly support your mission to Indspire this world. I know that I am not alone when I say that your courage is noticed. We as Canadians are here for you. Be proud of yourself and be proud of your identity–and don’t give up on that essay!!

– Naomi

Life is super tough, I’m sure we can all agree on that. In moments of discomfort, difficulty, and challenges, just know that nothing is permanent. This too shall pass.

It can be easy to get caught up in our stories and our thoughts — and in this moment, what can you do to take care of your mind, body and spirit? Sometimes it’s easy to sacrifice ourselves for a greater purpose. Taking care of ourselves with compassion and warmth can help us be that much more impactful in the work we do, whether it’s studying for a final or standing up against oppression and social injustice.

May you find peace, grace and warmth in your journey. You’re doing great. I love you and I believe in you!

– Juno Kim

Years ago government bursaries helped me obtain a post secondary education. With summer jobs even harder to find today it is essential that persons wanting any form of post secondary education not be held back for financial reasons. It is a pleasure to assist you in achieving your goal. Thank you for your commitment and determination.

– Bill

I am rooting for you and wish you every happiness. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished!

– Isabel Magnoli

If it weren’t for scholarships, post-secondary education would have been unavailable for me. The insights I gained, and the ability to think through issues with a clear mind, are just as valuable to me as what I learned about music, my major.

I hope college and/or university is as helpful to you!

– Leila Lustig

Success comes from hard work, so keep working hard. Your drive and determination will help you reach your goals. Just keep at it even though it is not always easy. You can do it. I wish you the very best in your studies.

– Pat Murphy

It’s fantastic what you are doing and we wish you all the best as you continue in your growing and learning. Bravo!

– Louise McColl

Congratulations for your achievement so far. I offer my ongoing support and encouragement for you to be resilient and diligent in your continuing efforts of self development.

– Linden Holmen

Please continue to pursue your dreams and your goals and your passions – Canada needs you as leaders and teachers, including leaders in government, leaders in health, leaders in education. We hope you will share your wisdom and your ways of seeing, and your culture, voices and stories. I pray within my heart that the eyes and ears of Canada open to you, like a flower turning towards the sun. Bring your light and be your true self in whatever path you are choosing. Even though our paths may never cross, please know in your heart that there are many people, like myself, cheering for you and wishing you success and happiness.

Please keep going, you are important, and you can make amazing things happen for your generation and generations to come. You can do it.

– Meaghan Jefferson

Congratulations on all your hard work. You can and are doing it. Take a moment to pause and celebrate yourself. You have many people who believe in you.

– Elizabeth Hargrave

I am so happy that more First Nations youths are going on for further education. And am happy that there are those who are providing some of the means to make this happen.

Go to it, bright young leaders of today

– Ed Bowen

You’re doing amazing. I’m so proud of you! Keep up the hard work and never stop believing in yourself.

You are an inspiration! Thank you for taking the step to follow your dreams in education! I hope this support can help get you there. Thinking of you and wishing you all the best! You got this!

– Emily McKay

It is been my pleasure to help in the smallest way to assist any student to get an education. I believe education is instrumental to a successful life and the more people that can get an education the better chance we have of making the world a better place. I wish every student who might have the opportunity to receive an Indspire bursary or otherwise every success in their education and their lives ahead. All the best to you all.

– Karen Chow

You are the future. Lead us well.

– Judy Lightwater

You are smart. You are resilient. You can inspire the world to learn through Indigenous ways of knowning.

– Lora

May you have the focus, willpower and tenacity to overcome the hurdles before you. You represent the best of Canada.

– Ray Edger

Completing school while working and juggling family and other responsibilities is hard. I know, since I am doing it too! While you are and will always be more than your grades, remember your final goal and why you wanted to study your subject in the first place. It helps to picture what your educational goal will add to your life, and imagine how good it will feel to have finished your studies, the sense of pride and accomplishment you will have that no one can take away. Imagine how it will benefit your families and communities, or how you can use it to make an impact in the world. You are showing impressive courage, optimism, and perseverance, and you are proving to yourselves and the world that you can do it! Keep going. You’re on your way.

The path ahead is bright, entertain every opportunity that comes your way, even the ones you least expected. Not every path is clear from the start, take comfort in knowing the journey evolves and the best things to come are those you cannot predict. Success is unique to every individual, so may you find success that fulfills your own needs, goals and aspirations. The best has yet to come. Stay determined, you’ve got this!

– Sarah Y

Believe in yourself and know that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Good luck.

– Lorrie Fern

Keep your head held high, focus on the positives and talk to the elders in your life.I returned for university education at the age of 45. I am a proud graduate who’s last semester went sideways due to covid. If I can do it so can you! Sending blessings and love.

– Linda Angus

Stick with your goal, even if it takes longer than you hoped, and even if you run into some problems. You’ll develop such confidence in yourself when you accomplish your goal. I believe you have a lot to offer.

– Rosalind

Education is a major component of personal development and essentially freedom from most forms of ignorance.

Enjoy your journey and I hope you reach your goals.

To all the students who are working hard each and everyday to pursue their studies, know that you are investing in yourself, in your future and in your community at large and I thank you for that. As a lifelong learner myself, I strongly believe that getting an education broadens our knowledge, invites us to see/learn other points of view, encourages us to meet others and push the boundaries of our comfort zone and is more than worth the effort. I wish everyone all the success they deserve. And I hope that you will continue to learn all through your lives and inspire others to do the same. Bravo to all and keep on learning!

– Francine Poissant

Congratulations on all that you have accomplished so far! Your academic journey may seem daunting at times, but you have the passion and resilience to thrive and flourish. Remember there are so many people cheering for you!

– Debbie Yee

“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” – Anne Frank

– Cathy Bond

My support to all students. The reward comes at the end of your hard work. After the degree it gets a bit easier.

Most of all you will be proud of your accomplishment. This in turn makes us all proud of you.


– Bill Namagoose

Good Morning my friend,

I grew up during WW2 and the London, England blitz and the food shortages and I did NOT finish High School. On Saturdays I had been working in Woolworths and when I left school I started work as an office Junior. I emigrated to Canada in 1965 in my early 30’s and married for a second time. At age 39, almost 40 I gave birth to a wonderful son (now aged 48 this month. And when he was growing up I started going to York University. BTW U of T had turned me down because I had never completed High School. Then, when I had some A’s and B’s from York U of T accepted me and because I took 2 summer courses as well every year, I graduated with a BA after 4 years. Now, it wasn’t easy and I self diagnosed that I have always had ADD (attention deficit disorder). The whole experience for me to study/read/write essays and exams – I liken the experience to ‘pulling teeth’. All to tell you that it was all worth it just to know I could finally attain a degree. My advice to you my friend is simply this: HANG IN THERE it is all worth it to know you have achieved something so important. I have my Graduation photo on the wall to the left of me and the BA Certificate in front of me as I type this to you. I should explain that I am sitting in a small space so these reminders are close to me. I send you my Best Wishes and all the encouragement I can offer. And finally, one step at a time go on to get your MA and then your PhD. Love June Gurvich born August 21 1933.

– June Gurvich

There will be moments during your educational journey that will test you and challenge your resiliency. When they show up, own them and lean into the challenge because this is your journey. Remember that there is no growth without first being conflicted, own the conflict and then celebrate the growth. I honour you in your knowledge acquisition and encourage you to honour yourself. Haa’mii’yaa, Thank you.

– Duane Jackson

Sending lots of good wishes for your success, I know you can do it! I’m looking forward to reading about the great things you accomplish 🙂

– Sharon

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Be kind to yourself and enjoy this wonderful journey you are on.

– Jean McClure


I’m a retired teacher living in Toronto.

I donate to Inspire because I truly believe that Canada needs the skills and contributions of indigenous students to help make Canada a better, fairer, more equal post-colonialist country.

Keep focused, work hard and the world is yours.

– Brooke Lydbrooke

I am happy to support young Indigenous women and men pursue education to improve their lives and their communities. For too long successive Canadian governments have shirked their obligations and promises to First Nations. I hope that on your journey you will learn from the Elders and keep your culture alive. It has much to teach us. Stay safe.

– Lily Cooper

First I’ll say that I’m proud of you for taking this path, and having the initiative to pursue your studies, and showing that you have the stamina and determination to continue in the face of a world that the pandemic has changed, at a time when finances may be challenging. Just making the commitment to education is an accomplishment, and I applaud you for that. I hope that by offering some financial support, I can make your burden a little lighter, and you can enjoy these years more, and benefit greatly from your learning.

– Maria Borkowski

I believe in you and am proud of you. I know school can be tough are there are good days and bad days. Take care of yourself, you are doing an amazing job!

– Janet

Thinking of you and wishing you all the best in your studies. We are cheering you on and sending our love!

– Alicia


I just want to wish you all the best – please know that I am thinking of you, your your families and your larger communities.

You matter a great deal and I care about your future!

– Adrianne Pieczonka

You are already a SUCCESS! Keep in mind that your efforts and your achievements help to contribute in many ways to a brighter future for all peoples. Thank you for staying the course.

– Ray Silver

Congratulations on accessing the educational resources to help you realize your dreams for the future. I know you will make the world a better place!

– Karen

I am learning so much as a descendant of settlers and am understanding more and more the challenges you and your ancestors have overcome. I wish you the best in your studies and career aspirations and hope my small contribution makes things a little bit easier. Know that I am on your side.

– Walt Sepic

Congratulations on pursuing your dreams! I hold you in my heart as you study.

– Rita

Against all odds.

I’m a woman that owns and runs a construction company and must compete with my male counterparts. Yes, there is still inequality.

Here is what I’ve learned throughout my career. The most important thing is “Set Goals” – if you don’ t know where you are going, how do you know when you get there?

Drown out the negative and keep your thoughts positive because you know you can do this!

You can make a change.

– Zuzika Hoare

I am inspired by reading the accomplishments of many of the students that INDSPIRE has assisted. I know that my small donation will be put to good use. Education is an important part of everyone’s life and this last year has been hard for everyone. Keep on the path that you are on and you will do well!

– Joanne Bailey

YOU will be the leaders to create profound significant changes in our systems and institutions.

Believe in yourselves and in your capacity to do great things!

With encouragement and hope.

When you think you’re at your lowest, know that we’re here to raise you up. We’ve got your back and we care a great deal about you. Reach for the stars and soar! You’ll get there, I promise.

– Vanessa Buttino

Dear Student;

I want you to know you are valued and important. Think of the lives you will impact and change with your presence in this world. You can and will move mountains! Do not give up on your dreams. Do not sell yourself short. You’ve got this!

– Jennie Boutilier

Hello dear students!

I hope you’re all staying healthy.

It has indeed been challenging for you and your professors.

Your goals and aspirations seem a distant dream but try to stay focused on how important your education is.

I know you will succeed and I send you my warmest wishes.

– Deborah Boisvert

Please remember that you have your own set of abilities which you can use to help yourself along with others who you meet as your life continues. Also, keep in mind that flexibility is a strength; it can move you through your life.

– Delaine Faulkner

Dear Student, Always remind yourself how far you have come, no matter how difficult the road ahead my appear. Learn from failures and this will build you successes. Trust in God’s guidance and the helping hands of those who love you.Never stop learning, this will be your greatest asset in life! Happy trails.


Last year in March I stood, as a white ally, with Wet’suwet’en and others at the legislature in Victoria. I learned a great deal during those cold days that were days of inspiration. The most important thing I learned was the power of leadership by the Indigenous youth leading those days, youth who were hard at work on university degrees. I think in 50 years or less, Canada will be fortunate to be run by Indigenous peoples, such as you who are now studying against tremendous odds in many cases, I am happy to have recently discovered Indspire and to support you. I am 79 this year. I have a Master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Education along with personal trauma healing is a power combination. Keep at your studies no matter how tiring or tedious. Keep your end goal in sight and all the annoyances and difficulties of the moment will be background to your goal in the foreground. Do self care each day. Go out into Nature even if you only have 10 minutes with a tree’s wisdom. Or a rock’s which you can carry in your pocket to remind yourself of all the love and support you have, from people you know and people you have not yet met. Women, support each other. Get a doctorate so men are less able to talk down to you as you stand, a leader. We would all like sexism to be a thing of the past, but it is not, any more than racism is. I look forward to reading more stories of your successes and to supporting you as I am able.

– Naida Hyde

I am grateful for this opportunity to show support for the Indigenous community, especially the young people, as one way of expressing my respect and caring. I believe we have the potential to heal our mutual future. Your hard work in your studies now counts so much toward building the positive opportunities that you deserve. I wish each and every one of you success in your goals!

– Laura Wattie

Learning new things can be challenging as well as fun and fulfilling. Be strong and enjoy the journey.

– Joan