Lethbridge College Métis Education Foundation Announcement
Métis Education Foundation gives $500,000 for student awards at Lethbridge College
May 15, 2013 – Lethbridge College announced a $500,000 gift today from the Métis Education Foundation. The gift will be directed to fund Métis Student Awards at Lethbridge College, ensuring over $20,000 to be awarded annually through awards of $3,500 each and will start in the 2013-14 school year.
“Lethbridge College offers a “circle of services” to assist our FNMI learners to be successful in their journeys of pursuing a post-secondary education. This assistance includes providing the guidance of Blackfoot, Inuit and Métis elders in residence,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College’s President and CEO. “This donation will further increase accessibility to post-secondary education for students from underrepresented populations and expand the Métis representation on our campus.”
Cost is often the largest obstacle for Métis individuals looking to further their education. Understanding this barrier, the Métis Nation of Alberta and its education, training and research institute, the Rupertsland Institute – Métis Centre of Excellence, have worked to establish Métis specific endowments at post-secondary institutions in the province. The gift will be used to alleviate financial need and to encourage post-secondary achievement by Métis students attending Lethbridge College.
“This gift has four purposes,” says Lorne Gladu, CEO of Rupertsland Institute. “First, we wanted to encourage and assist Métis people to access post-secondary studies at Lethbridge College. We also wanted to increase the number of Métis people who enter and successfully complete post-secondary studies. In addition, we are looking to foster stronger linkages between academia and the Métis community. And finally, we are working to promote knowledge of Métis history and culture and culturally appropriate practices at Lethbridge College and to promote Lethbridge College’s offerings within Alberta’s Metis Community.”
“It is extremely gratifying to see support for our Métis students in post-secondary studies extend across Alberta into the southern regions of our province,” says Yvonne Poitras Pratt, PhD, Associate Director, Metis Education and Advancement.
With today’s gift to Lethbridge College, the total amount of endowments given through the Métis Education Foundation has grown to $14.5 million. As the interest earned on the principal value is disbursed annually as awards, these endowments are set up to support Métis students in perpetuity.
Lethbridge College has seen its FNMI student numbers grow steadily over the course of the last four years. Fall of 2012 saw 319 FNMI students enrolled at the college, making up seven per cent of its overall student population and 63 of those students were Métis.
Lethbridge College awarded nearly $950,000 in student awards, scholarships and bursaries this year.
For more information, contact: Gwen Wirth – Communications Specialist Lethbridge College 403-360-5881 firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Horner – Communications Manager Rupertsland Institute Métis Centre of Excellence 780-801-9977 email@example.com