RBC announced the 2023 RBC Future Launch Indigenous Youth Scholarship recipients. The 20 recipients showcase excellence across a multitude of academic disciplines spanning Healthcare, Engineering, Business, Sociology, Law, Dentistry, Education, the Arts and more. They share a vision for the future including giving back to their communities and creating a more inclusive Canada that unlocks more opportunities and equity for Indigenous peoples.
The Scholarship demonstrates RBC’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous youth across the country as they continue their education. It also recognizes their strong academic performance and community involvement as key elements of their success and inspiring career plans.
“We know that access to education plays a vital role in preparing young people for their futures,” said Mark Beckles, vice president, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC. “This scholarship was designed in partnership with the Indigenous community to support their scholars as they pursue their chosen academic path. It is such an honour to read their stories and learn how they are making an impact in their respective fields and supporting Indigenous peoples.”
According to the upcoming report from RBC and Culture Foundry, Untapped Potential in Canada, scholarships are not the primary, nor the largest, tool to achieve core objectives for student success. However, they provide key support to students by covering costs and lessening the barriers to education. This is particularly true for the student groups that are often absent from the scholarship ecosystem including Indigenous scholars. The report examines how scholarships could increase access for those who are underrepresented and help build a stronger and more resilient workforce if they are utilized better.
2023 recipient excellence in the making:
- Tanner Big Canoe, a third-year software design and engineering student at Queen’s University understands the important role that access to technology plays in advancing the equality of opportunities for Indigenous communities. “Unlike other applications which have no personal connection to their users, I want to use technology to help build trust within communities. I would like to visit different communities, host Q&A sessions, and select experts to speak about their subject matter expertise,” says Big Canoe. “My goal is to engage with and listen to the community I serve to adapt technology to their unique needs.”
- Saalia Pijamini, a second-year student at Nunavut Arctic College understands the important role that culture, traditional food and connection to community has played in her life and education. “I want to go back to my home community of Grise Fiord and teach where I grew up and graduated high school. I want to give back to the school that shaped me into the person I am today.”
Read more about the 2023 recipients on RBC Stories and see the complete list of scholars. Please note: there are 20 recipients in the 2023 cohort and this digital list reflects scholars wishes for anonymity.
More about the RBC Future Launch Indigenous Youth Scholarship: Since 1992, RBC has been providing a scholarship for Indigenous students to complete post-secondary education through RBC Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth (previously known as the RBC Indigenous Student Award). The scholarship was designed in partnership with RBC’s Indigenous employee resource group, the RBC Royal Eagles, to ensure it meets the unique needs of the Indigenous youth it supports. The scholarship aims to advance equity by providing more Indigenous students with the stability and financial freedom required to benefit from post-secondary education. To date, more than $2 million has been awarded to 258 Indigenous youth from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis backgrounds.
- Awarded To: Status Indian*, Non-Status Indian, Inuit or Métis youth (15-29) who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and have applied to or are currently attending an accredited post-secondary institution. They maintain a full course load that leads to a recognized degree, certificate or diploma and have shown strong potential to successfully complete the post-secondary program.
- Scholarships Available: 20 each year (valued at up to $10,000 per year, for up to four years).
- Funds: Awarded scholars require financial assistance for their education and the funds support tuition and other academic/life expenses. Students awarded the scholarship will also receive access to additional resources in the form of mentorship and internship/networking opportunities.
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