Education, Scholarships, and Funding

Southern Chiefs’ Organization Scholarships

SCO is pleased to offer a growing number of scholarships for students who are citizens of our 34 member First Nations. Our scholarships are funded through our Annual Fundraising Golf Tournaments.

To donate check out our Scholarship Donations webapge.



Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) and Vickar Automotive Group have launched an endowed scholarship fund for First Nation students, administered through The Winnipeg Foundation.

Scholarships are awarded every year to a student attending the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) and a student attending the Assiniboine Community College. The scholarship recipients must be a citizen of one of SCO’s 34 member First Nations. The recipients must also be active in their community, either contributing to their school community or the community-at-large.

If you wish to donate to this scholarship you can do so through The Winnipeg Foundation.


Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), in partnership with Indspire, provides 14 scholarships every year to southern First Nation students.

Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada.

Click here to apply for the SCO Scholarship.

Impact of the SCO / SCED LP Southern First Nations Scholarships

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Dylan Kensick

My name is Dylan Kensick, I am currently in year 4 at the University of Manitoba pursuing a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree. After I graduate, I hope to work with different First Nations to help restore and/or mitigate environmental degradation wherever it is needed. I have recently been awarded a bursary that tremendously helped with my current financial situation. The awarded funds will help with the cost of living at my apartment in Winnipeg, different school expenses, ceremonial travel, and savings to build a house.

I am extremely grateful for this award and would like to thank SCEDC Southern First Nations Scholarship, Indspire, the Government of Canada, and other organizations or groups that work towards helping students for their generous support in helping me and other students during their journey in school and elsewhere. Thanks again/Chi-miigwetch!

Germaine Bear

Hello and let me begin by thanking you for the generous bursary! My name is Germaine Bear and I am an Indigenous single mother of two children from Peguis First Nation Reserve. I am studying at the University of Manitoba in the Masters of Social Work Based in Indigenous Knowledges. I love this program I am attending because a lot of it is applicable to my life as an Indigenous woman. Taking my Bachelor of Social Work taught me about colonization, but taking this program has deepened my knowledge on the many layers of colonization.

I am a helper and being in this program is allowing me to further my opportunities in how I can help my people. I am very grateful to be the recipient of this award. It has allowed me to pay back a portion of my student loan and my credit card, so I appreciate this award a lot. Having this award, especially over the Christmas holidays, has lessened my financial stress, allowing me to really enjoy my holidays away from school and focus on my time spent with my kids. I have attached a Christmas photo of myself and my two kids, Chloe and Ben.

Carmen Cook

I want to take the opportunity to personally thank you for selecting me as one of the recipients for the 2019 SCEDC Southern First Nations Scholarship! I am from Pinaymootang First Nation and I am a full-time student at the University College of the North in The Pas, Manitoba, where I am in my fourth year of the Bachelor of Arts and Education Integrated Program.

I currently reside in Swan River with my two children. For the past two years, I have been traveling to The Pas to attend classes, staying at the student residence during the week and coming home to Swan River where my children stay and attend school. Receiving this bursary has helped my family immensely because not only do I pay for a dorm room, but I also continue to pay for mine and my children’s home. I am very grateful to have received this bursary. It has helped with the costs of travel and school residence fees. Thanks again for your generous support!

Clarence Mckay
My name is Clarence Mckay and I am currently enrolled in the Indigenous Applied Plumbing Installation Program at Assiniboine Community College in Dauphin, Manitoba. Upon completion of my program, I will be well on my way to becoming a Level One Plumber.

Being awarded this bursary will go a long way in helping me purchase the tools and materials that I need for when I enter the workforce and will support myself and my family. I am grateful for being chosen for this award.

Going forward, I plan to continue in the plumbing trade to achieve my apprenticeship hours and further my education in my chosen field. Thank you for your most generous support!

Financial Help for Post-Secondary Students

There are several options for post-secondary students to receive financial help including from post-secondary institutions themselves, government scholarships as well as from scholarship-focused organizations.

We have compiled a list to help your search for scholarship, bursary and award options for First Nation post-secondary students:


Aboriginal Education Awards

The Business Council of Manitoba is committed to helping Aboriginal students attend university or community college. Since the program was launched in 2001, in partnership with the governments of Manitoba and Canada, more than 2400 awards totalling close to $6,000,000 have been presented.

If you are of Aboriginal ancestry, you are eligible to apply for a Business Council of Manitoba Aboriginal Education Award provided you meet the following criteria;

  • You are a citizen of Canada and a permanent resident of Manitoba, having resided in Manitoba for the last 12 months
  • You plan to enroll in one of the recognized and authorized Manitoba post-secondary institutions in the upcoming academic year, in any discipline (trades, business, general studies, science, etc.)
  • You maintain fulltime status (at least a 60% course load)
  • You are in need of financial assistance

Deadlines for applications is March 31, 2021.


Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards (BBF) program opens doors through education.

Since 2004, Indspire has provided over $115 million in financial support to more than 37,500 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students. All Building Brighter Futures donations are matched by the Government of Canada, allowing the organization to double the impact for students.

Deadlines for all Indspire Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards are August 1 at 11:59pm PT, November 1 at 11:59pm PT, and February 1 at 11:59pm PT every year.

The Vincent Design Scholarship Fund, through Indspire, provides educational funding to Indigenous Youth pursuing post secondary studies in graphic design and related programs. Every student’s story is different, but the financial gap for many under-served Indigenous Youth is still apparent. The Fund aims to reduce barriers to educational success for Indigenous youth while encouraging their future careers and contributions in the visual arts.

Vincent Design, an Indigenous-led creative marketing company in Winnipeg, helps organizations of all stripes and sizes achieve greater impact with fresh approaches to graphic design and visual identity.

For more information about the scholarship visit Vincent Design Scholarship Fund.


This innovative program provides an opportunity for current and former youth in care to attend post-secondary education. Established in 2012 at the University of Winnipeg, now nine participating colleges and universities in Manitoba offer support to current and former youth in care. Tuition waiver recipients may be eligible to apply for living supports from the province to cover the cost of books and supplies, transportation and housing while attending a post-secondary institution. The institutions currently offering tuition waivers include:

  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Brandon University
  • Booth College
  • Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
  • Red River College
  • University College of the North
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of St. Boniface
  • University of Winnipeg

For more information visit the Futures Forward Tuition Waivers webpage.


Use the Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool to search through over 600 bursaries, scholarships, and incentives across Canada, offered by governments, universities and colleges, private and public companies, individual Canadians, organizations ,and others focused on Indigenous students.

Click on the name of the bursary to view more information about the award including a description, value, institution, deadline (if applicable), and contact information.


Scholarships Canada is an online tool that helps students find access to scholarships all over Canada.

The website lists all relevant scholarships and bursaries. We endeavour to update each listing on an annual basis. Students are matched to scholarships and bursaries when they create an account.


Student Awards is an online tool that helps students find and access scholarships all over Canada.

Student Awards sends new awards right to students’ inboxes every week. In addition, Student Awards is a part of the Yconic network, giving students easy access to resources for evaluating campuses, choosing the right school, and getting their questions answered.


Assiniboine Community College

Each year, Assiniboine students receive over $300,000 in the form of scholarships and bursaries. Scholarships are based on multiple criteria, such as academic achievement, school or community involvement, and athletics. Bursaries are based primarily on financial need.

Brandon University

You can view details on all of the scholarships, bursaries, and other awards available at BU in their searchable database.  In 2017-18, BU awarded over $2.2 million in scholarships & bursaries.

Red River College

Last year, Red River College administered awards, bursaries, and scholarships totaling more than $2.9 million to help students achieve their academic goals. These awards are intended to support students who have shown outstanding abilities in academic or vocational areas and/or are in need of financial assistance.

The College’s Awards and Financial Aid Office provides a number of support services for students, including information on financial assistance programs available to Manitoba students.

University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba issues more than $17 million to students each year in the form of scholarships and bursaries. Find out how you can access funding so you can focus on your studies.

University of Winnipeg

Financial assistance is administered through the University of Winnipeg’s Awards & Financial Aid Office. They provide a comprehensive program of scholarships, awards, prizes and bursaries.

The University of Winnipeg provided over $5.7 million in scholarships, awards and bursaries in 2018-2019 to assist students with their direct education costs. The University also administers over $15 million in annual assistance from Government Student Aid Programs.


The RBC Indigenous Student Awards Program was launched in 1992 to assist Indigenous students to complete post-secondary education, and provide an opportunity for RBC to strengthen its relationship with the Indigenous community. Selected students are awarded up to $5,000 each academic year for two to four years to use towards tuition, textbooks, supplies and living expenses.

RBC awards ten scholarships in two categories:

  • For students majoring in disciplines related to the financial services industry
  • For students majoring in disciplines unrelated to the financial services industry

RBC also considers scholarship recipients who are interested in careers in financial services for summer and post-graduate employment.

Applications and supporting documents are to be received by RBC by 11:59 pm EST on February 28, of each year. If selected, the applicant must provide proof of her/his acceptance to university or college and eligible status by July 31.


Canada Post gives $2,000 grants to Indigenous Peoples who have renewed their educational learning.

You’re eligible to apply if you:

  • Are a Canadian and a member of a First Nation, Métis or Inuit community
  • Have been out of school for 1 year or more and are returning
  • Have already returned to school and completed 1 full year of studies
  • Have never received this award in the past (you can apply as many times as you want, but you can only receive the award once)

For more information visit the Canada Post website.


Red River College’s Rebel Generation Award is available to students who are enrolled in a full-time program at RRC and whose parent/guardian is a graduate of Red River College. Two $1,000 awards (one in the fall and one in the spring) are available each year. Previous recipients are NOT eligible to apply.


  • Enrolled in a full-time program of study
  • Proof of parent/guardian’s attendance at RRC, including first and last name, program name and year of graduation, and supporting documentation (e.g. certificate/diploma/degree, student ID, transcript).

IMPORTANT: Application deadlines are November 30 (fall award) and April 30 (spring award).

For more information visit the Red River College website.


Every year, Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) hands out  the Helen Bassett Commemorative Award to four young Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, or gender-diverse students in the amount of $1,000 each. The awards are made possible by the generous donation of Helen Bassett, an Ontario artist and passionate advocate for the advancement of Indigenous women and for fair solutions to Indigenous land claim issues. She directed open letters to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his cabinet in 1980 and again in 1983, proposing that a tax be levied on all land transactions in Canada, with a royalty paid to Indigenous people. She outlined her ideas in Native Rights. In her selflessness, she specified NWAC as one of the beneficiaries of her estate. This has helped to sustain our post-secondary student awards program to this day.


The game of hockey provides many teachable moments and some equally valuable life lessons.  In addition to the on-ice experiences and enjoyment, Hockey Manitoba also recognizes the importance of a strong educational foundation, and each year awards twenty (20) post secondary scholarships to graduating student member athletes.

Hockey Manitoba is fortunate to have the opportunity to offer a number of scholarships to their members in recognition of their hard work and dedication both in the classroom and on the ice. The commitment shown to the game, education and community is an integral part of developing our young athletes into strong community leaders. Hockey Manitoba pleased to be able to provide financial support to their graduating members to assist with post-secondary education.

For more information and to apply visit Hockey Manitoba’s website.

Student Aid

The Government of Canada and the Manitoba Government both have options for grants and student loans:


The Government of Canada offers student grants and loans to full-time and part-time students. Grants and loans help students pay for their post-secondary education.

  • apply for grants and loans in one application, directly with your province of residence
  • you don’t need to repay grants you receive
  • you need to repay loans after finishing school, with interest
  • you may be eligible for more than 1 type of grant – when you apply with your province, they will assess your eligibility for all available grants


The Manitoba Student Aid program provides loans, grants, and bursaries to Manitobans who need help paying for school.

Student loans are calculated based on financial need and are meant to supplement, not replace, your own resources. Just because you apply for a student loan does not mean you’ll get one, and just because you get one does not mean you will get the maximum amount.

If you do get a student loan, you don’t have to make payments or pay interest on it while you are a full-time student.

When you apply to Manitoba Student Aid, you become eligible for loans and grants, not only from Manitoba Student Aid, but also from the Canada Student Loans Program.

When you receive and repay your student loans, you deal with both lenders separately.

Canada Learning Bond

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money that the government will give to the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) of an eligible child. You don’t personally need to contribute anything to your child’s RESP to receive the grant, you simply need to open an RESP account for your child. The Government of Canada then deposits money directly into an eligible child’s RESP account to help parents save for their child’s education after high school. It can add to any band funding your child receives.

The government will contribute up to $2,000 in total to an RESP for each eligible child. Eligibility is based on the number of eligible children in the family and the adjusted income of the primary parent/caregiver. The adjusted income includes the income of a cohabiting spouse or common-law partner. 

The CLB contributes $500 the first year your child is eligible, and $100 each year after that your child remains eligible (up until and including the year they turn 15).  Money in your child’s RESP can be used to pay for full-time or part-time apprenticeship programs, trade schools, colleges, or universities after high school.

To apply, you’ll need your child’s birth certificate to get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) number, and then you will need to open a RESP to put the funds into. You have up until your child is 21 to apply for the grant, and it’s retroactive which means that you’ll receive the full amount your child was entitled to in any past eligible years.

First Nations Education



Yellowquill University College

Yellowquill College has provided First Nations control of First Nations education under the governance of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council.  Yellowquill College is accredited by the National Indigenous Accreditation Board and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. More than 2,500 students have graduated.

South East Collegiate

Southeast Collegiate serves as a campus for First Nations students during the school year – educating them in a new state of the art school facility and housing them in the adjoining lodge.


Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre

The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. (MFNERC) provides the province’s leading education, administration, technology, language and culture services to First Nations schools in Manitoba. .

Professional development training is provided for school board members, administrators, teachers and teaching assistants. MFNERC works in partnership with Manitoba First Nations to ensure the highest standards of education are achieved in First Nations schools.