Aboriginal students at 14 public colleges and universities throughout British Columbia will benefit from a range of new and expanded programs to support them during their studies.
The Province is providing each of the post-secondary institutions with $75,000 in one-time funding to support Aboriginal students.
“This targeted funding provides Aboriginal students with the programming and services they will need to complete their post-secondary education and training,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Post-secondary education and training is the best pathway for Aboriginal students towards a prosperous future.”
Just over $1 million will go towards new and expanded programs and services that will help ensure public post-secondary institutions are welcoming learning environments for Aboriginal students. Examples include Elders-in-residence, summer youth camps, outreach to Aboriginal students and communities, peer mentoring, and workshops for faculty and staff about Aboriginal history and culture.
“This funding is aligned with our government’s plan to ensure Aboriginal students are prepared to take advantage of job opportunities in our growing economy,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad. “Aboriginal people play an important role in helping to meet the need for skilled workers in B.C.”
Emily Carr will use the funding to increase the number of Elders and cultural advisors at the university, to support a traditional carving mentorship/apprenticeship project and to host Aboriginal artist speakers.
The funding is part of ongoing activities to support the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Training Policy and Framework and Action Plan. The provincial government launched this plan in 2012 to improve post-secondary education and training opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal people in B.C.
The goal is to increase the number of credentials awarded to Aboriginal learners by 75% by 2020-21. In 2013-14, 3,241 credentials were awarded to Aboriginal learners, an increase of 23%, or 607 over 2009-10.
The Ministry of Advanced Education also provides supports to Aboriginal students through Aboriginal Service Plans, through funding for community-based training and by providing funding for emergency financial assistance and awards.
The $75,000 in one-time funding is from the Ministry of Advanced Education in support of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan.