June 23, 2020—Ottawa, Ontario
Inuit in Canada have access to a new source of funding to pursue post-secondary education. Funding for the Inuit Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) Program comes from an investment of $125.5 million over 10 years and $21.8 million per year thereafter announced in Budget 2019.
About three-quarters of the funding will go towards direct support for Inuit students. Most of the balance will fund regional engagement activities to draw more Inuit students into PSE and services like academic training and counselling, to help Inuit students succeed in PSE programs.
This is a new stream of funding for Inuit and supplements funding available through provincial and territorial programs. The funding is available to Inuit enrolled under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the Nunavut Agreement, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, regardless of their place of residency or where they are going to school.
Funding will be administered by Inuit land claims organizations in the four regions of Inuit Nunangat or their designated delivery organizations, through existing program streams. Regional allocation of the funds for 2020 and 2021 follows a model agreed upon by the ITK Board of Directors in December 2019. It amounts to $1,052,531 for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, $4,056,291 for Nunavut, $2,024,097 for Nunavik and $963,470 for Nunatsiavut for the 2020-2021 year.
Students who are applying for financial assistance to attend PSE for the first time and returning students enrolled in programs beginning in the fall of 2020 may contact their land claims or designated delivery organizations for more information about the IPSE application process. Full contact details are available at https://www.itk.ca/inuit-post-secondary-education/.
The IPSE Program replaces and exceeds the funding available to Inuit under the federal Post-Secondary Students Support Program (PSSSP). Those funds have historically been accessed through First Nations Administrators operating in southern centres. There will be a period of overlap between the two programs, ensuring no change in funding to current Inuit PSSSP recipients until September 2020, at which time they may apply through regional funding channels.
The initiative is part of a broader vision of the Inuit Post-Secondary Education Program, developed by Inuit and the Government of Canada, building upon the ambitions of the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee. The goal of the Strategy is to increase Inuit PSE attainment rates to a level consistent with the non-Indigenous population.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the IPSE Program?
The Inuit Post-Secondary Education Program is new federal funding for Inuit students that replaces the funding available through the federal Post-Secondary Students Support Program (PSSSP). It increases the funding available to Inuit and is universally accessible to Inuit Nunangat land claims beneficiaries, regardless of where in Canada they live. It also includes additional funding for regional organizations to develop programs and services to help students succeed, along with funding for community engagement to increase the number of students who enroll in post-secondary programs.
2. How is it different from other PSE funding programs?
This is a new stream of funding for Inuit students. Previously, federal funding programs were not always administered by Inuit land claims organizations or their designated delivery organizations. Funding is available to Inuit enrolled under Inuit Nunangat land claims agreements, regardless of where they live or choose to go to school.
3. Who is eligible?
The funding is available to Inuit enrolled under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the Nunavut Agreement, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, regardless of their place of residency or where they are going to school.
4. How do I apply?
Contact your land claims organization or their designated delivery organization for full details:
Inuvialuit Settlement Region
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation ([email protected])
Kitikmeot Inuit Association ([email protected])
Kivalliq Inuit Association ([email protected])
Kakivak Association ([email protected])
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated ([email protected])
Kativik Ilisarniliriniq ([email protected])
Nunatsiavut Government ([email protected])
5. What kind of program do I have to be enrolled in?
The IPSE funding can be used for any post-secondary program delivered by an accredited institution. This includes college programs, apprenticeship programs, undergraduate degrees, masters or PhD programs, as well as online and part-time programs. It can be used for summer programs as well, so long as they are being delivered by an accredited post-secondary institution. Contact your delivery organization for more details.
6. What if I already have funding?
You are eligible to receive IPSE funding even if you receive funding from other sources. You can still apply to other sources of funding while you are receiving IPSE funding.
Inuit students residing and studying in the Northwest Territories should contact GNWT Student Financial Assistance, and are eligible to receive a top-up from the IPSE Program. Nunavut residents should apply to the Government of Nunavut’s Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS) or Adult Learning and Training Supports (ALTS), and can receive a top-up from the IPSE Program.
7. What does the funding cover?
IPSE funding can be used to cover a variety of different costs related to your post-secondary education. This may include tuition, travel, childcare, textbooks, and more. Your delivery organization can help provide you with more details about eligible expenses.
8. How much funding am I eligible to receive?
The amount each student is eligible to receive depends on the program policies developed in each region.
9. What if I have applied for PSE but have not received a letter of acceptance from my chosen school/program?
Contact your delivery organization for more information.
10. Does it matter if my high school marks are low?
IPSE funding is not a scholarship, and will not be based solely on your marks. Contact your delivery organization to find out more details on the application process in your region.
”This program has the potential to be life-changing for many students. In developing the program, it was important that the funding be universally accessible to Inuit beneficiaries across Canada, no matter where they live, and to address the social inequities that serve as needless barriers to PSE for many Inuit—travel costs, child care, family support and the cost of living far away from home and family. A critical part of the program will be the wraparound services to encourage greater participation in PSE and to provide necessary support to students at a critical time in their lives.Natan ObedPresident, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami