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BC Aboriginal students will share over $900,000 in awards in 2014

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Kristiana Bailey, a Fort St. John Campus AHCOTE (Alaska Highway Consortium on Teacher Education) student is a BC Aboriginal Student Award recipient this year. Bailey’s goal after graduation is to achieve her dream of becoming a primary school teacher.

The Society’s Aboriginal Awards program is funded from the returns on a $12 million endowment fund established by the Province in 2008. Subsequent provincial contributions to the fund are used to encourage more Aboriginal students to become teachers, and in support of Aboriginal students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees. Awards from $1,000 to $5,000 each are issued to students through a competitive process every year. The awards programs are intended to assist in removing barriers to higher education for the province’s Aboriginal peoples.

“We want Aboriginal students to be among the first in line for the one-million jobs expected by 2022,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “These scholarships support Aboriginal students as they apply themselves to academic excellence, which is a foundation to their future success.”

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society provides scholarships to students attending public post-secondary institutions across British Columbia. Since its inception, the Society has awarded over $7 million from its six scholarship and award programs.

Hugh Gordon, Chair of the Society’s Board of Directors commented that “Education improves the capacity of an individual to contribute to his or her community and enhances the level of an individual’s future earnings. The Society is particularly privileged to support members of British Columbia’s Aboriginal communities as they pursue their post-secondary education objectives.”