Donor funds scholarship to benefit Indigenous students

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An anonymous donor has stepped forward to establish a scholarship that will provide First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) students with a full-ride scholarship in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math.

The $500,000 gift will provide up to $20,000 per year to cover tuition, residence, and a meal plan, if required, to eligible students.

“I was shocked to learn of the discovery of unmarked graves of children who had died in residential schools,” says the anonymous donor. “I’m hoping this award does some good and helps FNMI students earn a degree.”

The LC Memorial Award for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students in STEM will provide an opportunity for five students to receive an undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor.

“This ground-breaking award will change the lives of five fortunate students and benefit First Nation communities in Ontario in countless ways,” says Glen Gwiingos Hare, Ontario Regional Chief.

Kat Pasquach, UWindsor Aboriginal outreach and retention co-ordinator, says this opportunity is a game-changer. She looks forward to seeing the youth benefit from this scholarship.

“The generosity of this donation is a wonderful sign of reconciliation happening in our community and is breaking down the barriers to post-secondary educations that so many Indigenous youth face,” says Pasquach.

“Taking away the stress of financial obligations will provide students a chance to focus on their studies and allow them to explore all the wonderful programming our campus has to offer.”

The groundbreaking LC Memorial Award is great news during these stressful pandemic times, says Beverly Jacobs, senior advisor to the president on Indigenous relations and outreach.

“Even without the stresses of dealing with COVID-19, there are so many financial needs of FNMI students — such as childcare, housing, food security, IT supports, to name a few,” says Dr. Jacobs. “An award like this can assist in relieving financial stresses and can assist with their self-care and well-being in order to achieve their educational goals.”

The Faculty of Science will directly benefit from this gift.

“This generous support provides an important pathway for FNMI students to science and engineering at the University of Windsor,” says dean of science Chris Houser.

“This new pathway supports other initiatives in science to recognize and incorporate Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum, as well as provides space for knowledge keepers and support for Indigenous students.”