Post-secondary Education News for BC First Nations communities and Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association members.

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Image (left to right): UBC Graduation in 2014 of Peggy Janicki (Kilaksten),Chastity Desjarlais-Smith and Patricia Point Ryder

Personal Credits Deadlines

There have not been any changes to the Personal Credits available to Residential School Survivors, a process administered through Crawford Class Action Services.  We understand this has been a very lengthy process that has not always been easy to access.  However for those who accessed the process, please remember the June 8, 2015 deadline for Educational Entities and Groups to complete redemption forms to Crawford Class Action Services and the August 31, 2015 deadline for completion of courses or activities supported by Personal Credits.  Learn more about the process at Crawford Class Action Services.

Featured Events

First Nations Languages Conference, July 16-17, 2015 Vancouver

Regional Sessions Community Meetings on Education, Fall 2015, Williams Lake, Smithers, Cranbrook, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Kamloops, Vancouver, Nanaimo & Kelowna

FNESC 21st Annual Aboriginal Education Conference, November 26-28, 2015 Vancouver

PSE Resource Line

FNESC provides support to First Nations education coordinators and other community-based resource staff by answering questions they encounter as they help students navigate the world of higher education and post-secondary funding.  You can call with questions about eligible programs, institutions, expenses, and reporting, or for assistance developing local operating guidelines and interpreting government policies. Contact the PSE Resource Line at 1-877-280-4151 or

Supporting Post-Secondary Education Coordinators

On the FNESC website, there is an Education Coordinator Resource Page to assist those administering post-secondary funding.  Please email Cindy M. Charleyboy (, the Post-Secondary Program Analyst for FNESC, for the password to access this page. We have recently uploaded a copy of the Education Section of the 2015-16 BC Region Program Guide, a copy of PSSSP & UCEPP 2015-16 National Program Guidelines and a copy of AANDC’s List of Eligible PSE Institutions.

Call for Student Recognition Submissions

In each issue of the PSE Newsletter, we like to include a story and photo to profile a student and celebrate their unique path to attain their credentials. Please refer students to us that would be willing to submit a picture and a brief story about their educational career.  We welcome profiles of students of any stage in their post-secondary studies – they do not need to have completed their post-secondary studies.


We welcome your feedback, questions and newsletter ideas! Contact us toll-free:

Naomi Adams, Director, Post-Secondary Education & Training

Cindy M. Charleyboy, Post-Secondary Program Analyst and  PSE Support Line

Sherrie Jacobs, Senior Administrative Assistant Post-Secondary Education

Student Profile

Chastity Desjarlais-Smith

Chastity (Chas), pictured in the centre, is a member of the Cold Lake First (Cree Nation) and graduated from the University of British Columbia in November 2014 with a Master’s in Education.  Her focus was on Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies. She submitted the following for the FNESC PSE Newsletter:
I love the work I do as an Aboriginal educator. Last year and this year, I have been able to work more closely with youth in the Vancouver district, both as an Aboriginal Education Enhancement Teacher and now as the Aboriginal Education Consultant. In both positions, I feel like I have been able to contribute to positive change in the relationships I have developed with Aboriginal youth and teaching colleagues. I have been able to share my knowledge of Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous leadership with both students and teachers. 
It is so important for our youth to work closely with Aboriginal role-models and mentors, whether or not they are teachers, so they can feel proud and supported both in and out of school. Lifting our children up and pushing them to become the best they can be, regardless of where the journey takes them, is just one way we can give back. I try to do this every day in my work.

Funding Cuts

Cuts to IAHLA, the First Nation Early Childhood Development Council (FNECDC) and FNESC

On May 1, 2015, FNESC, IAHLA and FNECDC received notice that AANDC had made some drastic funding cuts, eliminating all funding for IAHLA and FNECDC and significantly reducing the budget for FNESC’s Post-Secondary Education (PSE) Support. 

IAHLA previously relied on this funding as their core support for their Board meetings, the Annual General Meeting and conference, the projects that support IAHLA institute operations and administrative expenses.  FNECDC also relied on AANDC funding as their only support to provide policy dialogue meetings, the creation of an early childhood human resources strategy, the promotion of collaborative service integrations, and administrative and meeting expenses.The funding for FNESC’s PSE Support assisted with the services FNESC provides to all 203 First Nation communities through the Post-Secondary Resource Line, the PSE Coordinator Workshops, the Post-Secondary Subcommittee meetings, and several important PSE projects.

FNESC, IAHLA and FNECDC are developing a strategy to address the funding cuts, as well as to address the funding shortfalls in the PSSSP and UCEPP programs and the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP), formerly ISSP. We are looking for the support of First Nations communities, leadership, students and organizations. 

Please watch for more information on FNESC’s website and through email about how you can help with this important matter. 


PSE Funding Applications

Protected and General Pool

First Nation communities that anticipate their students will require more than their community’s initial PSE funding allocation from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to support students through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and the University College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP) must fill out the application to access protected pool and/or general pool (additional) funding.  Communities that do not anticipate requiring more than their initial PSE funding allocation are not required to fill out an application package and they will still receive their initial allocation. 
AANDC informed FNESC that they are mailing the application packages to communities on April 15, 2015.  All communities should have received the details for this by now.  If you are a PSE Coordinator but haven’t received the PSE Call Package yet (and your community is not block funded), speak with your Band Administrator to request a copy right away. 

New Deadline: May 29, 2015

As we related in an earlier email, please note AANDC has moved the deadline for the PSE Funding Applications to May 29, 2015, which AANDC states is more in line with their funding dates for 2015-16.  Late applications are not accepted.  If you are a PSE Coordinator but haven’t received the PSE Call Package yet, speak with your Band Administrator to request a copy right away.

Changes for 2015-16

AANDC’s PSE Funding Application process is still relatively easy; however, there have been some changes to the forms.  If you are completing the forms electronically, ensure you fill out both Tab 1 and Tab 2. Even though Tab 1 is titled “Summary - Definition”, it is actually Form 1 and the information for this form is required for your application.
If your community had a surplus in post-secondary funding from the 2014-15 fiscal year, the new form allows you to expend that in 2015-16; however, you need to ensure that this funding is spent first, and spent on eligible post-secondary expenses. Consider enlisting the help of your Finance Department and/or Band Administrator to ensure you have the correct figures for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Note: if filling out the forms electronically and submitting more than one page for “FORM 2,” you may need to manually enter the sub-total, administration cost (10%), and total cost last page.  Use a calculator to ensure that the subtotal of all costs are correct, multiply that subtotal by 10%, and add that number to the subtotal for the total amount of funding your community is requesting.

AANDC’s New List of Eligible PSE Institutions

This year, AANDC has developed their own list of eligible institutions, which does not include many of the institutions previously listed as eligible on the CanLearn website.  This list was only shared with FNESC on April 15, 2015 and was included in the call package. It may be accessed by contacting your AANDC Funding Service Officer and we have posted it on the Post Secondary Resource page.
FNESC is communicating to AANDC that this last minute change may create problems for communities as students are likely to have already applied for institutions based on the CanLearn list.  AANDC has indicated that they will review and make changes to the list three times per year.
If you do not find an institution on AANDC’s list, but are sure it is eligible, please contact the regional AANDC office to request that it be added to the list and keep us posted at FNESC so we can speak to this if necessary.

Children in Care & Former Children in Care

During the Post-Secondary Education Coordinator Workshops in 2014 and 2015, we indicated that we would provide more information about tuition and other supports available to youth in care and former children in care.  As PSSSP and UCEP funding may not provide all supports needed, it is a great idea to become familiar with the other supports that former Children in Care can access.
There are several institutions that are known to provide tuition waivers for former children in care (note that  maximums/caps may apply).  These include the following:

  1. British Columbia Institute of Technology
  2. Langara College
  3. Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  4. Simon Fraser University
  5. University of British Columbia
  6. University of Northern British Columbia
  7. University of Victoria
  8. Vancouver Island University
  9. Justice Institute of BC
When searching with Google, tuition waivers are usually found by searching the institute name and the words “children in care” but sometimes “youth in care” is used instead. 

Other sources of post-secondary tuition and supports can be found at the following sites:

BC’s Single Parent Employment Initiative

BC has announced a new initiative that will support the transition of single parents on income and disability assistance into the workplace.  This initiative will begin in September 2015 and continue for five years. 

Support for approved single parents will include:
  • tuition and education costs for approved training programs, up to 12 months long, that will lead to employment in high demand occupations;
  • transportation to and from school;
  • child care, including before and after school care; and
  • upon securing employment, financial supports for required work gear, clothing or supplies.
Read more about this in the BC Government Press Release
During the time a single parent is in the program, income and/or disability assistance will continue and for those who qualify for a childcare subsidy, full costs for childcare can continue for a year after successful completion of the program and beginning employment.  Participants will also continue to receive health benefits, including their Medical Services Plan (MSP), Pharmacare programs, dental and optical coverage for the year after they complete their program. We are awaiting the release of the full application details.
Because this initiative is geared toward meeting labour market demand, examples of training programs might include those that lead to employment in administration or carpentry.  Approved programs may differ slightly in each region of BC.  Single parents can be directed to their local WorkBC Employment Services Centre to find out more about the possibility of accessing these services.
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First Nations Post-Secondary Education News is a publication of the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association and the First Nations Education Steering Committee. 
FNESC Post-Secondary News | IAHLA