June 18th, 2024

New Indigenous scholarship to launch

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 8, 2022.

In October, global design and technology firm Arcadis IBI Group announced a collaboration with Indspire, an Indigenous national charity, confirming that the two will launch a new scholarship for Indigenous students.

The scholarship invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and will help fund post-secondary student’s learning architecture, engineering, urban planning, or Indigenous languages across Canada.

According to a news release, “Since 2004, Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program has provided more than $153 million in financial support to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada to assist the completion of their post-secondary education.”

The Arcadis IBI Group and Indspire “will support the next generation of Indigenous students to influence the way our communities are designed and built.” Arcadis IBI cited their commitment to the Principles of Reconciliation in Canada, and to providing opportunities for Indigenous students within the architecture, engineering, and technology (AEC) industry.

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, “to achieve their highest potential.” Indspire’s head office is in Ohweken, Ont. and in 2021-2022, the charity provided more than $23 million through 6,612 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students across Canada.

“Arcadis IBI looks forward to supporting and celebrating the educational goals and achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students from across our shared lands through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program,” said director and senior practice lead, architecture, and chair, Indigenous engagement steering committee, Heather Semple, in a release.

“Five students will receive scholarships that will fund a semester of tuition plus a portion of living expenses,” said Shannon Edwards, coordinator of global communications with Arcadis IBI.

The Arcadis IBI Group is a multi-national design firm with headquarters in Toronto and 18 Canadian offices. They specialize in architecture, engineering, planning, and technology systems.

“This scholarship marks one of many endeavours Arcadis IBI has taken to enhance its work towards the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Call to Action 92, which calls on corporate entities to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework,” said chief operations director and chief diversity officer, Audrey Jacob, in a release.

Call to Action 92 calls for “free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects,” according to the Government of Canada archives. It also urges businesses to “ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.”

The next Indigenous scholarship application deadline submission date is Feb. 1, 2023. Visit indspire.ca to learn more.

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