At the 10 colleges represented by BC colleges, there were 10,720 learners enrolled with Aboriginal identity during the 2017/18 academic year, according to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Central Data Warehouse.
Further, Indigenous students represent about 10 per cent of the total number of students registered in the college system.
BC’s colleges actively encourage and support Indigenous students to join programs and succeed on whatever pathway they choose. Located close to many Indigenous communities, colleges build and strengthen respectful relationships and provide educational opportunities that help redress the historical and continued barriers that Indigenous peoples have faced in pursuing post-secondary education.
Student supports, including financial aid, are available to make access to programs affordable, while Indigenous staff, elders, and faculty work hard to ensure student success. Examples of support include:
If you are thinking about coming to a BC college, an Indigenous Advisor can provide information and advice about programs offered on-campus or in local Aboriginal communities
College Indigenous Advisors can help navigate through various funding sources, including Band funding and supports for Métis students, and provide advice about student loans and other government funding support.
Advisors provide cultural supports to students who may deeply miss being surrounded by Indigenous culture, or who are just beginning to learn about themselves as Aboriginal people. Colleges also organize cultural activities and events to support your emotional and spiritual well-being.
All colleges provide staff dedicated to Indigenous education, elders who provide wisdom and support, and Indigenous Gathering places to help create a welcoming environment for Indigenous students.
Colleges work hard to ensure Indigenous values are respected and supported across campus.