Calling all indigenous students of the province of British Columbia. This one’s for you! If you’re pursuing post-secondary education right now and need a little extra help funding your course, you can turn your sights to the Irving K. Barber Indigenous Awards. With this funding option by your side, you will be able to fulfill your desires of making it big in your chosen career path.
What is the award all about, you ask? This award is meted out to indigenous students, i.e. Metis, Inuit or First Nations (Status or Non-Status). If you’re pursuing a degree, post-degree, diploma, certificate, apprenticeship or trades training program, you can apply for this award.
We’ll be discussing all the details you need to know in the sections below –
The eligibility criteria for this award is dependent on the type of course you are pursuing. For example, if you’re a part of an apprenticeship program, the rules will be different. Similarly, the another set of rules will apply to undergraduate degree programs. But first let’s discuss the common eligibility criteria among them –
Common eligibility criteria
- You should be Metis, Inuit or First Nations (Status or Non-Status)
- You must be a British Columbia resident, having had your primary resident in this province for at least 12 continuous months before enrolling full-time into the course you’re availing this funding for
- You must be a citizen of Canada, or a permanent resident of the country or a protected person or a refugee living in Canada
- You must enroll yourself into public post-secondary school or an indigenous post-secondary school in British Columbia
- You are full-time student, i.e., you will be attending at least 60% of your full course load
- If you’re a previous applicant of this award who’s currently enrolled in a full-time program, you can apply for renewal
- You can also apply for a new award if you’ve completed your previous course and need it for a different program this time around
- Your course length should be minimum 7 continuous weeks
Undergraduate or Associate Degree/Law or Medical Degree
- Your course length should be at least two semesters
Master’s or Doctoral Degree
- Your course is at least two semesters long
Note – Exceptions to being a full-time student will be entertained only for students who are unable to take on a full course load either due to a disability or due to other medical reasons.
Unfortunately, to avail this award, you must study in a designated post-secondary educational. Otherwise, you might not be able to apply for it. Here’s a list to help you out –
Eligible public post-secondary schools:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Camosun College
- Capilano University
- Coast Mountain College
- College of New Caledonia
- College of the Rockies
- Douglas College
- Emily Carr University of Art + Design
- Justice Institute of British Columbia
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Langara College
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
- North Island College
- Northern Lights College
- Okanagan College
- Royal Roads University
- Selkirk College
- Simon Fraser University
- Thompson Rivers University
- University of British Columbia (including UBC-O)
- University of the Fraser Valley
- University of Northern BC
- University of Victoria
- Vancouver Community College
- Vancouver Island University
Eligible indigenous schools
- Ahousaht Education Authority
- Blueberry River First Nation Adult Centre
- CFDF of Central Interior First Nations
- Chemainus Native College
- Coastal Training Centre
- Cowichan Tribes – Quw’utsun Syuw’entst Lelum
- En’owkin Centre (Okanagan Indian Educational Resource Society)
- Fort Nelson First Nation Community Education Authority (Chalo School)
- Gitksan Wet’suwet’un Education Society
- Gitwangak Education Society
- Heiltsuk College
- Ittatsoo Learning Centre
- Jean Marie Joseph Adult School
- K’ak’ot’lats’i School
- Kitimat Valley Institute
- Kwadacha Dune Tiiy – Aatse Davie Society
- Kyah Wiget Education Society
- Lip’alhayc Learning Centre
- Muskoti Learning Centre – Saulteau First Nations
- NEC Native Education College
- Neskonlith Education Center
- Northern Shuswap Tribal Council
- NTC Nuuchahnulth Tribal Council NETP
- Pacheedaht First Nation
- Penelakut Island Learning Centre
- Penticton Indian Band Adult Education
- Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment & Training Association
- Saanich Adult Education Centre
- Seabird College
- Sechelt Indian Band Education Centre
- Secwepemc Cultural Education Society
- Skeetchestn Band Education
- Snuneymuxw First Nation/House of Learning
- Sto:lo Nation
- Ted Williams Memorial Learning Centre
- Tl’azt’en Adult Learning Centre
- Tsay Keh Dene Nation Learning Centre
- Ts’zil Learning Centre (Liliwat Nation)
- Wabsuwilaks’m Gitselasu Adult School
- Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute
How To Apply
Since you have the choice to apply for the first time or to renew your awards for a different academic year or a different course, the application process will vary a little. Here’s a step-by-step procedure you need to follow for each-
- Create an account for yourself on the SM Apply website here, or log in to your existing one. First-time applicants will be asked a series of questions to determine their eligibility.
- If you’re found to be eligible, you will be redirected to the application form, which you can start filling out.
- If you’re a new applicant, you will need to provide a reference who can confirm your community service, filling up a form sent in a link on your behalf.
- Upload documents that confirm your identity as an indigenous person.
- Once you’re done filling out the form entirely, click on submit.
Application for renewal
- Click here to log in to your account.
- You will be asked a set of questions concerning your eligibility, and you will have to fill out a short form.
- You will be informed whether you’re eligible for renewal or not via email.
- If approved, you will have to fill out a renewal application form. Once done, you can click submit and await your reply.
You can contact the society at 1-844-478-4645 if you’re unable to complete your form online.
How Much Can You Get
With us so far? Good. It’s time for us to tell you how much you can get. If you’ve applied for Apprenticeship/Trades Training/Certificates/Diplomas, you’ll get $1000 for programs that last 7 straight weeks and $2000 for programs that are 12 weeks or longer. For an undergraduate degree program, you will get $3000 in funding; while for a master’s or a doctoral degree, the amount will be $5000.
Other Student Aid Options
Wondering what other options you have? Well, the good thing is that as a student of British Columbia, you can take recourse to plenty of other funding options if one doesn’t work out for you. You can browse through BC Full-Time Student Loan, BC Student Bursaries and BC Student Grants among others.