Métis Scholar Awards established at Lakeland College

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June 18, 2015
Lakeland College and the Métis Education Foundation joined forces to create a special purpose fund – the Métis Scholar Awards Fund – for Métis students attending the college
“This is a wonderful milestone of support for our Lakeland College students,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of the college. “We work hard to help our students achieve their education and career goals, but we couldn’t support our students without the partnerships we establish with industry, individual donors and dedicated organizations like the Métis Education Foundation, Métis Nation of Alberta and the Rupertsland Institute. Together, we will be able to provide increased support to our Métis students.”

On June 17, representatives from Lakeland College, Métis Education Foundation, Métis Nation of Alberta and the Rupertsland Institute signed an agreement to officially signify the establishment of the Métis Scholar Awards. The Métis Education Foundation is contributing $103,000 to the fund with an additional $27,000 provided by Lakeland College.

The purpose of the $130,000 quasi-endowment fund is to encourage post-secondary achievement and remove financial barriers for Métis students attending Lakeland. Over a 15-year period the fund will allow for the distribution of two to four awards each year of between $2,500 and $3,500 to students of Métis heritage starting in 2015-16. 

“The creation of the Métis-specific endowments responds to both a need and an opportunity: the need to support our community’s access to higher education and the opportunity to partner with post-secondary institutions. We now have endowments at 15 post-secondary institutions in the province totalling over $18 million,” said Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta provincial president, during the signing ceremony. “Alberta has one of the finest post-secondary systems in the country and Lakeland College is certainly one of the keys to this success. The establishment of this fund by the Métis Education Foundation is not a donation to the college, but we believe it’s an investment in Métis education, Métis students and our future as a Métis nation.”

Recipients of the Métis Scholar Awards must be full-time students in financial need, meet a minimum GPA requirement and share how the funding will benefit them in achieving their educational goals, among other criteria. Lakeland College will administer the Métis Scholar Awards at no cost to the endowment fund.

Lakeland College Student Awards Program

More than $1.2 million in awards, scholarships and bursaries is expected to be awarded to Lakeland students this academic year. Donor support for student awards has reached a historic milestone thanks to 21 new donors plus ongoing support from returning award donors. Lakeland projects that by the end of June, a sum of 1,330 awards, scholarships and bursaries valued at a total of $1,207,109 will be awarded to Lakeland College students this academic year.
Photo: From left, officially signing the Métis Scholar Awards Fund agreement on June 17 were Alice Wainwright-Stewart, Lakeland College president, Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta provincial president, and Karen Collins, Métis Nation of Alberta Region 2 president.

June 18, 2015