Rupertsland Institute: Major Gift Announcement for Métis Students at Lakeland College
Lloydminster, AB (September 11, 2018) — Today, the Rupertsland Institute and the Métis Education Foundation have announced a significant gift to support Métis student success and leadership at Lakeland College. This gift builds on a previous commitment made in 2015 by the Métis Nation of Alberta and its affiliates – the Rupertsland Institute and the Métis Education Foundation – in partnership with Lakeland College, to provide financial support to Métis students.
To date, nine Lakeland Métis students have received financial support from this partnership.
“Today, I am happy to announce and celebrate yet another milestone,” said Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta. “The Métis Nation of Alberta and its affiliates are investing $287,600 to further support Lakeland Métis students. This figure, combined with further investment from Lakeland College and previous contributions from both organizations, will create a $500,000 endowment fund to ensure bursaries are available for Métis students. In making this announcement, I am aware that this contribution on behalf of future generations of citizens could not be possible without the relationships and partnerships that we have created with the Métis community and stakeholders across the province.”
There are currently 167 self-declared Indigenous students at Lakeland, of which 38 are Métis students.
“We are honoured to have the support of the Métis Nation of Alberta and its affiliates. Together we are able to invest in our Métis students and help them to achieve their educational goals and grow as leaders,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College. “These funds will help to mitigate the financial stress that comes with funding a post-secondary education. In fact, one in six people who are accepted to Lakeland but don’t attend say they withdrew because of financial reasons. We are committed to ensuring our students have the supports they need to succeed. With this new endowment fund, our current and future Métis students are able to lead and achieve with the help of incredible supporters like the Métis Nation of Alberta.”
Recipients of this endowment must be full-time Métis students in financial need and meet a minimum GPA requirement, among other criteria.
Lakeland College has made notable steps to enhance the post-secondary experience for Indigenous students, including the hiring of its first Indigenous support specialist in 2017. The college also raised the Métis and Treaty 6 flags on both campuses and created an Indigenous Student Lounge that all students can access on the Lloydminster campus. A reconciliation speaker series, student-led Indigenous Student Advisory Committee, teepee raisings and blanket exercises, and Elder in Residence Program are examples of other initiatives Lakeland has undertaken.
ABOUT RUPERTSLAND INSTITUTE:
Rupertsland Institute is an affiliate of the Métis Nation of Alberta and holds a triple mandate in education, training and research; offering programs, services and information to Métis people in these areas through a network of offices across Alberta. Rupertsland Institute is committed to funding post secondary education and supporting the education goals of Métis citizens.
ABOUT LAKELAND COLLEGE:
With generous support from external partners, including the Métis Nation of Alberta and its affiliates – the Métis Education Foundation and Rupertsland Institute – industry and donors, 1,676 student awards were given to Lakeland students valued at over $1.5 million in 2017-18. Lakeland’s guiding philosophy is that students benefit from first-hand opportunities to learn by doing and leading; there is no substitute for experience. Established in 1913, Lakeland College is a place of possibility that serves more than 7,000 students every year at its campuses in Vermilion, Alta., and Lloydminster, Alta./Sask., and through online and off-site programs and courses. Lakeland offers programming in the areas of agricultural sciences, business, energy, environmental sciences, fire and emergency services, health and wellness, human services, interior design technology, trades and technology, and university transfer. Lakeland is also a test bed for innovations in agriculture, energy and environmental sciences. For more information visit lakelandcollege.ca.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Senior Communications Specialist
Manager, Métis Education Foundation