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National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation grant process made easy.

By Marie Burke

Windspeaker Staff Writer


For Aboriginal students and aspiring arts professionals who are looking for some financial help to go to school, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation should be the first number on their list to call.

The foundation has three main scholarship programs available to status and non-status First Nations people, Inuit and Metis students -- the Arts Scholarship Program, the Post-Secondary Education Awards Program and the Aboriginal Health Program. As well there are more than a dozen special scholarships available to Aboriginal students.

The level of financial assistance that is available is based on the applicants' needs, academic merit and commitment to their studies. "The object is to meet each individual student's needs," said Ken Williams, director of public affairs. When a student applies to the foundation it is determined what program is best for them based on interviews, said Williams.

Recipients are selected by a jury representing a cross-section of professional people. There is no pre-set amounts on the scholarships, but the entire cost of the training cannot be funded, said Williams.

The application for a scholarship through the foundation is five pages long and includes a budget, which Williams said is what people seem to have the most problem with. If a student is running into problems with the application it is in their best interest to call the foundation. The foundation will return incomplete applications, but help is available to prevent delays in the application process.

As part of the application, proof of Aboriginal ancestry is required. In one applicant's case who applied as a non-status Native person, a letter from Indian Affairs was provided as proof of their Aboriginal ancestry, said Williams.

The foundation will accept applications for education scholarships whether the program applied for in Canada or abroad. Also taken into consideration is the quality of the training being sought and that it is related to the student's chosen area of study.

The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation promotes the achievement of youth, but there is no age limit for scholarship applications.
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Author:Burke, Marie
Publication:Wind Speaker
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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