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Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards

Are you a student belonging to the Metis community? Are you fresh out of high school and on the lookout for a university to pursue post-secondary education? If you answered yes to these questions, then here is something that might interest you. While the Alberta government has plenty of aids and grants in place to help with monetary matters, there is a special award in store for members of the Metis community. This award is known as the Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards.

The award’s inception took place in 2001 under the guidance of Orval Belcourt, Dr. Herb Belcourt, and Georges Brosseau QC, who are distinguished directors of the Canative Housing Corporation. If you feel you qualify for this award, then read the entire article carefully, for your college-related financial troubles are about to become a thing of the past.

Eligibility Criteria:

Since it is a non-government award centered around the Metis community, there are slight differences in eligibility criteria. Let us take a look at the major ones.

  • You need to be a member of either the Metis Nation of Alberta or a Metis Settlement. This is very important as it will prove you belong to the community. If you are not a current member, you are still eligible if you have at least applied for membership.
  • You should be a citizen of Canada, as well as a resident of the Alberta province. To be considered a resident, you must have resided in the state at least a year prior to your post-secondary education, or your parents/guardians or spouse must be a resident of Alberta.
  • Must have either enrolled or are studying in a full-time program in a university or college in the state. Programs can include diplomas, professional degrees, specialized certification courses, and academic upgrading.

If these three criteria are met, then congratulations, you can move on to the application process.

Selection Process:

While eligibility covers only the basics, to receive the award, there are a few more boxes you need to check to stand a good chance.

  • If you are volunteering or are involved in community service of any kind in the Metis community and its affiliated organizations such as The Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Settlements, Michif Cultural Connections, and Métis Child and Family Services, to name a few, then you have a great chance of getting selected.
  • If you have a financial need that clearly dictates how this money will be essential to pursue your education. For this, your income or your family’s income should fall below a certain monetary threshold set by the government.
  • Leadership skills are also highly valued for this award. So if you have demonstrated this skill in a verifiable way, or have overcome hardships of any kind, then you have proven that you are Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards (BBMA) material.
  • If you are currently pursuing a post-secondary program that has a promising employment opportunity. If not, then ensure you are at least pursuing a full-time program or have enrolled in it at a relevant institute.

How to Apply:

To apply for the Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards, simply create an account with the Edmonton Community Foundation. With that out of the way, let’s delve into the details. There are essentially three major aspects to the application, one proves your identity in the Metis community, the second is a solid reference highlighting your volunteering/social involvement, and the final one is your budget.

The first thing you need is proof of citizenship with either Métis Nation of Alberta or Métis Settlements of Alberta. A letter from either organization stating you have applied will also suffice. Essentially, your picture in the MNA Citizenship Card or Alberta Métis Settlement Membership card will verify your identity. Next, you would need to attach a copy of your most recent grades.

The next part of the application is the references. You will need two references that highlight your involvement with the Metis community, any volunteer work you have undertaken, or exceptional leadership skills you have displayed. This is a very important part of the application, so ensure that your references can provide details about your work. Thus, it is recommended that teachers, employers, or volunteer contacts be consulted to provide references.  

Finally, the budget section of the application deals with financial details regarding your education. It is important to have a well-balanced budget, where you can ensure that you either have enough money saved or have taken other loans to cover parts of your tuition costs. Once finished, submit your application before the deadline, which is March 31st.

How Much Can You Get:

So you have finally made it, and are qualified to receive the award. In this case, you can receive anywhere from $ 1000 to $ 10,000 each academic year. The money will take care of your basic tuition expenses and textbook as well software costs. However, the award can’t be used for travel or other living expenses. Once selected, you will receive an email confirmation, and an arrangement is made directly with the institution you are attending. Upon receiving an invoice from the school, the money will be transferred to them directly.

Other Student Aid Options:

Perhaps you did apply and didn’t get the award, or maybe you think the odds are against you. Fret not, for there are a whole host of other programs offered by the Alberta government such as Alberta Student Grant for Full-Time Students, Alberta Student Part-time Grant, Alberta Student Loans, and Alberta Student Scholarships. These programs, in addition to the largest, private financial aid program that is the Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards, ensure financial freedom for aspiring students so they can soar towards their dreams.

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