Education, Training and Culture
To provide financial assistance for Norway House Cree Nation Members who want to pursue post-secondary studies in or out of the community.
To recruit new applicants; to retain students until completion of their post-secondary studies; and
To offer culturally sensitive student support services.
To assist Norway House Cree Nation members with the financial means who are in pursuit of obtaining a post-secondary education so that they can become successful and self-reliant upon graduation, thus expanding our human capital and increasing economic development.
To promote and provide educational opportunities by delivering more community-based
programming geared towards satisfying our community labour market demands; and
To encourage and promote student success.
Before 1950, if a Treaty Status Indian wanted to obtain a post-secondary education, all associated costs (books, tuition, travel, accommodations, etc.) had to be paid out of their own pocket. And seeing that most Reservations are not furnished with post-secondary institutions, now and back then, students that were able to pay for their education also had to leave their home communities. If they did graduate with a degree, they had to pay another price, the Indian Act of 1886 (Section 86) stripped them of their treaty status and all associated rights. This was called ENFRANCHISEMENT and was enforced until 1951.
In the late 1970’s, the federal government introduced the Post-Secondary Education Assistance Program. Today, we still use this program (Post-Secondary Student Support Program) and is administered and run by most First Nations, albeit, still under the reigns of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). INAC is now called Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Below is a brief historical timeline on how the post-secondary funding we use today evolved.
A brief history of Post-Secondary education funding development
- 1950’s – No specific funding program to attend university/college existed for Status Indians or Inuit during this era. The federal government provided financial support on a case by case basis to those who applied for funding. In the mid-60’s, there were about 200 Status Indian students enrolled in universities and colleges. By 1999, this number increased to about 27,000 (twenty seven thousand) students.
- 1960’s – Approximately 250 Status Indian are funded by INAC to attend post-secondary institutions as a result of being ineligible for support through the 1967 Adult Occupational Training Program (AOTCP). The AOTCP aimed for the general population and focused on short-term training, the unemployed and under-employed. Fortunately, without intention, the AOTCP revealed that a high number of participants were not educated enough to qualify for training. This unintended disclosure set in motion the wheels to address the educational issue at hand, not only for Status Indians or Inuit, but for the general population.
- 1970’s – In 1977, INAC introduces the Post-Secondary Education Assistance Program for Status Indians and Inuit to attend post-secondary studies. Three main types of support are available for eligible students that apply: Tuition, Travel and Living Expenses. In 1989, the Post-Secondary Education Assistance Program was revised by INAC to become what is now the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP). This is the program that the Norway House Cree Nation Education, Training & Culture Division administers and delivers on an annual basis.
- 1980’s – INAC introduces another program to make it easier to enroll in university or college programs for both Status Indians and the Inuit. The University and College Entrance Preparation (UCEP), prepares first year students to attain the academic level required to enter degree and diploma programs.
- 1990’s – Sadly, in 1996, funding for the Post-Secondary Student Support Program was capped by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) not to increase by more than two percent annually. This cap has been in effect for the last 17 years despite increases in educational expenses such as tuition, books, the number of applicants who apply for post-secondary funding, and the population growth of First Nations people. This has drastically affected all First Nations who want to pursue post-secondary studies as funds are now very limited. This has also affected most, if not all, First Nations Bands who administer this program as they have to select limited numbers of applicants that can be funded for the year based on criteria. For the Norway House Cree Nation Education, Training & Culture Division, on average since the year 2000, we continue to receive approximately 300 applications for post-secondary funding per academic year. From the submitted 300 or more applications, we only have funds available to fund roughly 150 students for one academic year.
- 2000’s – The 2000’s brought in a think tank, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy, to develop a proposal to finance First Nations post-secondary education. The Helin-Snow Policy Proposal called “Free to Learn: Giving Aboriginal Youth Control over their Post-Secondary Education,” which never passed, would have seen the demise of the current Post-Secondary Student Support Program administered by local bands. Ironically, Calvin Helin, an Aboriginal himself, was one of the authors of this policy. This stealthy policy proves that the government will do anything to take away what we have and will continue to come up with new policies that are designed to sound good. Following is an excerpt from the policy that never got passed by the government due to objection by Canada’s First Nations leaders.
“The proposal would see the creation of an Aboriginal Post-Secondary Savings Accounts opened at birth for every registered Indian. Money, which would include an incentive for continuing education from grades six through twelve, would accrue and be paid directly to a post-secondary institution, and would include cash to cover living expenses. Authors of the report claim that better accountability and transparency would be part of the advantages of this new system. The money would flow directly from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to the student bypassing band control” (Windspeaker, Volume 28, Issue 1, 2010).
- 2013 – Since its inception in 1977, the Post-Secondary Student Support Program that we administer and deliver on a yearly basis has not changed dramatically. Because of the 2% cap imposed in 1996, the funds we receive from AANDC on an annual basis is not enough for us to accommodate all applicants who apply for funding. In addition, student allowance and cost of books and tuition rates have not been adjusted to reflect increases in the cost of attending post-secondary studies.
Phone: (204) 359-6296
Fax: (204) 359-6262
New Applicant Application Form
For those applicants that have never been sponsored either by the NHCN Education Directorate or NHCN Employment & Training.
Continuing Student Application Form
For those students that are consecutively continuing into their 2nd or more years of studies.
Returning Student Application Form
For those applicants, graduates or not, that were sponsored before by the NHCN Education and/or NCHN Employment & Training.
Spring and Summer Application Form
For those students in University that were sponsored the previous Fall and Winter are eligible to apply.