Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

June 30, 2005 14:30 ET

CMSF: New Access Bursary for Aboriginal Post-Secondary Students

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - June 30, 2005) - The Government of Saskatchewan is partnering with the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation to provide Aboriginal students from low-income backgrounds with more than $6 million in non-repayable student financial assistance. Financed by the Foundation and delivered by Saskatchewan Learning, the project will provide bursaries worth approximately $2,000 each to more than 2,500 first-year Aboriginal students from low-income backgrounds.

The Foundation and Saskatchewan Learning signed an agreement today launching the Millennium Aboriginal Access Bursary, part of an experimental four-year project designed to improve access to post-secondary education. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time in a multi-year program of study. Students will be automatically considered for the bursary when they apply for Saskatchewan student financial assistance.

"Research indicates that the percentage of Aboriginal people living in poverty is highest in Saskatchewan compared to the rest of Canada, that their participation rates in post-secondary education are very low and their educational attainment rates are well below those of non-Aboriginal people," said Norman Riddell, the Foundation's executive director and CEO. "This initiative will allow us to address the important issue of Aboriginal access to and persistence in higher education by improving the amount of non-repayable financial aid dedicated to Aboriginal students."

"The young and growing Aboriginal population is poised in numbers to take advantage of the anticipated growth in jobs due to Saskatchewan's aging workforce and the province's strengthening economy. This bursary program, administered through the Saskatchewan Student Financial Assistance Branch, will serve as an incentive for Aboriginal students to obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities that will be increasingly in demand in the labour market," said Labour Minister Deb Higgins who attended the ceremony on behalf of Learning Minister Andrew Thomson.

For more information about the Millennium Aboriginal Access Bursary, visit the Saskatchewan Learning Web site at www.sasklearning.gov.sk.ca.

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is a private, independent organization created by an act of Parliament in 1998. It encourages Canadian students to strive for excellence and pursue their postsecondary studies. The Foundation distributes $325 million in the form of bursaries and scholarships each year throughout Canada. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $1.7 billion in the form of 550,000 bursaries to Canadian post-secondary students. Following cross-country consultations held in 2004, the Foundation announced its plans to allocate additional, income-based assistance to students across the country, and is in discussions with its provincial and territorial partners with regard to implementation.

Contact Information

  • Learning Foundation, Regina
    Jacquie McLean
    (306) 787-5609
    or
    Canada Millennium Scholarship, Montreal
    Joseph Berger
    (514) 284-7246
    jberger@bm-ms.org