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Aboriginal students receive Barber awards

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VICTORIA – Eighty-seven British Columbia Aboriginal students received awards totaling $259,000 for study in B.C. this year, announced Hugh Gordon, chair of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

Included among the recipients is Pearl Widdicombe, a Northern Lights College student from Chetwynd.

“These awards help open new doors for B.C.’s Aboriginal people,” said Gordon. “They are an investment in their skills and talent.”

The B.C. Aboriginal Student Award is funded from the returns on a $10 million endowment fund established by the Province of British Columbia in 2007 as part of its strategy to improve Aboriginal access and achievement. To ensure that there are more opportunities for people to benefit from this award, the Province provided an additional one-time grant of $500,000 that was used to fund awards last year and this year.

“Post-secondary education and training is a high priority for our Government, and we have placed a strong focus on creating and supporting opportunities for Aboriginal peoples,” said Minister of Science and Universities Ida Chong. “I’d like to congratulate all of the recipients of this award, and wish them the best of luck and success on their educational journey.”

Awards of $1,000-$3,500 are given annually to Aboriginal students pursuing post-secondary education in B.C. The number of awards granted depends on the type of programs students are enrolled in and the revenue generated by the endowment fund. Preference was given to students enrolled in the trades and certificate programs.

The Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society works in partnership with the Victoria Foundation to provide scholarships to students attending public post-secondary institutions throughout the province and internationally. To date, the Society has awarded almost $2.5 million in scholarships.

To find out more about this program call the Victoria Foundation at 250-381-5532 or visit