Scholarships + Funding

Students should apply/inquire early for financial sponsorship from a band or agency.
For additional information regarding liaising with sponsoring agencies please contact us at

Information on scholarships and student loans is available at Financial Aid + Awards.

Emily Carr University Aboriginal Awards

Purpose of Awards

To increase enrollment and retention rates for Aboriginal students, to promote student achievement and commitment to community.

Award Categories

  • Entrance Awards for Aboriginal students entering a degree program at the
    University for the first time. Entrance awards applicants should demonstrate community/cultural service, volunteerism, commitment and achievement, and financial need.
  • Continuing Student Awards for Aboriginal students continuing in an Emily Carr
    degree program. Continuing Student awards applicants should demonstrate good academic standing, contribution to Emily Carr Aboriginal community and events, commitment and achievement, and financial need.

The Emily Carr University Aboriginal Art Award Applications will be emailed during the Fall semester to current Aboriginal students from the Aboriginal Program Office. These awards are normally disbursed at the end of October/early November.

We are grateful to the contributors of the following donor-funded awards supporting
Aboriginal students:
• BC Hydro Aboriginal Awards
• Elsie Boone Memorial Aboriginal Award
• Chris & David Dodge Aboriginal Awards
• First Nations Award
• David Murton Foubister Memorial Aboriginal Award
• Ian Gillespie Aboriginal Scholarships
• Gwyneth  & Aileen Gunn Bursary Fund
• George & Penny Pedersen Aboriginal Award
• Rix Family Awards
• Y.P. Heung Foundation
• Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour Award
• Shawn Larsen Memorial Fund
• Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund
• Danica Imports Aboriginal Award
• Yaxkasei Memorial Award

External Awards


Indspire is a nationally registered charity established to actively assist talented Aboriginal artists by providing financial assistance for education and training initiatives in the performing, visual, crafted, media, literary, and graphic arts. The fund is available to Canadian Aboriginal peoples, status, non-status, Métis and Inuit. Applications are assessed by a jury of recognized Aboriginal artists and eligible costs include tuition and related expenses, including art supplies. Deadlines: August 1, November 1, February 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Toll-Free: 855.INDSPIRE (463.7747)

Irving K. Barber Indigenous Award

The Society offers three Award programs for students pursuing post-secondary education in BC. They are available to students who identify as Indigenous, defined as First Nations (status or Non-Status), Métis or Inuit. All are renewable in order to provide sustained funding over multiple years.

Applications for 2025 will be available in January 2025.

First Citizens Fund

The First Citizens Fund Student Bursary Program provides financial awards to Indigenous students enrolled in post-secondary education. Bursaries between $700-$1,200 are awarded to students who meet all eligibility requirements and who demonstrate significant financial need. Students apply for the bursary after they successfully complete a semester of post-secondary school.

Eligibility criteria: Post-secondary students of Indigenous ancestry (status, non-status, Métis, Inuit) who are permanent residents of British Columbia, registered in a BC recognized post-secondary institution, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or a C+ grade equivalent. Students are not eligible to receive a bursary to repeat a course or academic year.

This bursary is awarded AFTER the successful completion of the semester. Please submit your application within a few weeks of the end of the semester for which you are applying.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on the following dates:
September 15, 2024 – for the Summer 2024 semester (May-Aug)
January 15, 2025 – for the Fall 2024 semester (Sept-Dec)
May 15, 2025 – for the Winter 2025 semester (Jan-April)

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
(250) 388-5522 Ext. 216

BC Arts Council Scholarship Program

The aim of the BC Arts Council Scholarship Program is to support the development of BC’s future professional artists by assisting with pre-professional training of outstanding BC students of the arts. The Scholarship Program, the oldest program of Council, provides funding of up to $6,000 per year to outstanding arts students studying at the post-secondary level. BC residents attending full-time studies in a fine-arts diploma or degree program at a recognized college, university, institution or academy, in any country, are eligible to apply.

Application deadline: April 30, 2024

New Relationship Trust Foundation

The New Relationship Trust Foundation and BC First Nations communities realize the importance of education. Interested and eligible BC First Nation students are encouraged to apply for the NRT Foundation Post-Secondary Scholarship Awards. Successful applicants will be eligible for a maximum of four consecutive years of undergraduate post-secondary funding, a maximum of two years at the Master’s level and a maximum of two years for the Doctorate level. Scholarships are awarded annually and students must re-apply for any subsequent years.

Application deadline: August 1, 2024

TD Scholarship for Indigenous People

Together with AFOA Canada, a not-for-profit led by Indigenous Peoples, TD Bank has worked to build a scholarship for Indigenous Peoples. Through it, 25 scholarships are available to be awarded annually, worth up to $60K over 4 years. The scholarship is open to First Nations, Métis and Inuit who are accepted into, or are continuing in, a full-time minimum 2 year post-secondary institution.

Application deadline: TBA

Indigenous Mental Health Fine Arts Bursary Award

The Indigenous Mental Health Fine Arts Bursary (FAB) Award is open to Indigenous students in British Columbia in a Fine Arts program and living with mental illness or addiction. CMHA BC has been helping people with mental illness further their pursuit of post-secondary education through their scholarship and bursary programs. They are committed to lowering access barriers and would like to ensure that these scholarships and bursaries are available to anyone in British Columbia with lived experience who is pursuing higher education.

Watt Scholarship (in partnership with Indspire)

The Watt Scholarship was established in 1995 and is awarded annually to four Inuit in Canada currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution with a demonstrated interest in art, history and culture. Each scholarship provides $2,500 to assist, support and encourage Inuit in their pursuit of post-secondary studies in Inuit art and culture.

Applications for the next award are accepted on a rolling basis with cutoff deadlines on February 1, August 1 and November 1 annually.

Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is open to Indigenous students who are residents of Canada or the United States of America and are currently enrolled in a Canadian or U.S. post-secondary institution in any area of study. You must be between 18 and 30 years of age.

Application deadline: will be announced in September 2024

Chief Joe Mathias BC Aboriginal Scholarship

The purpose of the Fund is to advance education by providing educational scholarships to deserving British Columbia First Nation students who are in financial need and who demonstrate merit, in order to improve access to post-secondary education so that they can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to participate in a changing economy and society.

Applicants must be members or citizens of a British Columbia First Nation; be enrolled in an eligible post-secondary institution (full-time or part-time); be pursuing a program that results in a degree or diploma; be in financial need and demonstrate merit.

Application deadline: June 14, 2024

Aboriginal Learning Links

Aboriginal Learning Links provides organized links to other websites that can help you find information on Financial Support, Child Care, Housing and even Career Planning.

Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool

The Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool is a searchable list of more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada, offered by governments, universities and colleges, private and public companies, individual Canadians, organizations and others.

The majority of bursaries on this list target Indigenous students but could vary by group such as First Nation, Métis or Inuit. Also, some bursaries are specific to a region, place of residence, a school, or a field of study.

Housing Resource

Are you a practicing Indigenous artist; First Nations, Métis, or Inuit? Are you actively engaged in your personal and professional development? Are you willing to volunteer 8 hours per month?

Skwachàys Lodge at 31 West Pender would like to hear from you!

Bachelor suites are rented at $416/month for a maximum 3 year consecutive term based on successful program participation, volunteering, and achievement of personal and professional goals. Cable, internet, and utilities are included and all artists have 24/7 access to the shared Artist Workshop Studio. Accommodations are singles-only. One small pet considered, sorry, no dogs. Volunteering is mandatory and can include participation in professional development programs offered on site, assisting in the Gallery, or facilitation of skills-exchange workshops.

Application support material must show evidence of the individual artist’s dedication to craft through professional bio, artistic experience CV, portfolio examples and clearly stated expression of interest, along with letter of recommendation from peer or advisor, proof of income and a detailed three year personal and professional development plan that includes timelines and benchmarks to mark progress and successful achievement of goals.

Applicants will be chosen for interview through a competitive selection process based on Artistic Excellence, Artistic Merit, Personal and Professional Development Plans, and Housing Need.

Applicants selected for interview will be contacted. Please, no phone calls or walk-ins.

Application Process:
Application Questions: