Minister Boissonnault announces funding to make post-secondary education more affordable for Indigenous youth

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 29, 2024 /CNW/ – When young people have access to the supports needed to complete their studies and achieve their career goals, then communities, the economy and all of Canada thrive. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make meaningful investments in youth through its comprehensive array of youth programming.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, announced an additional $6 million for Indspire for their Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards program. This funding, provided through the Supports for Student Learning Program, will allow Indspire to offer scholarships and bursaries to 2,400 Indigenous students across Canada so they can pursue post-secondary training.

The Supports for Student Learning Program funds organizations that help students to stay in school, continue their studies, and gain new skills that will help them succeed in their education. The program aims to reach students who may face greater barriers to education, such as Indigenous students, visible minority and racialized students, students living with disabilities, students living in a low-income household, and students identifying as 2SLGBTQI+. Funded activities may include: 

  • tutoring sessions;
  • mentoring programs;
  • mental and social well-being services;
  • bursaries and scholarships; or
  • opportunities to study or work outside Canada

Indspire is a national Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous peoples for the long-term benefit of them, their families and communities, and Canada. For more than 35 years, Indspire has empowered thousands of Indigenous students to dream big for the future and achieve their highest potential in and outside of their educational pursuits.

In collaboration with Indigenous partners like Indspire, the Government of Canada is ensuring that First Nations, Inuit and Métis can fully contribute and share in Canada’s economic success, which is a critical part of advancing reconciliation and self-determination.

Quotes

“Having access to the right skills and resources is crucial when it comes to landing a good job. Investing in Canada’s future through the Supports for Student Learning Program will help thousands of Indigenous youth across the country to access the post-secondary training they need for the career of their dreams.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault

“Receiving this $6 million investment from the Government of Canada for our Building Brighter Futures program is a transformative step towards supporting Indigenous students in their educational journeys. It not only fuels their personal and academic growth but also strengthens the foundation for vibrant communities and a thriving Canadian economy.”
– President & CEO of Indspire, Mike DeGagné

Quick Facts
  • Since 2019, the Supports for Student Learning Program has provided more than $245 million in funding to youth-serving organizations across Canada. In 2022–2023, the program helped support more than 130,000 youth. This includes more than 7,500 students supported by Indspire.
  • Indspire participants have strong education outcomes. Between 2016 and 2022, 89% of former Indspire scholarship and bursary recipients indicated that they completed their program, and 88% of those who graduated reported being employed.
  • The Government of Canada recently demonstrated its support of reconciliation with Indigenous people through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, released on June 21, 2023. The plan includes measures to break down barriers, combat systemic racism and discrimination, close socio-economic gaps, and promote greater equality and prosperity for Indigenous Peoples.
  • This announcement supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation informed by:
    • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #7, which calls on the Government to work with Indigenous groups on a joint strategy to eliminate the education and employment gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
    • The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People Calls for Justice, which calls upon all governments to provide supports and resources for educational, training, and employment opportunities for all Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
  • This announcement aligns with the Government of Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations to help build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities that leave no one behind.
Associated Links

Supports for Student Learning Program 

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada