Aboriginal Funding

As an Aboriginal student, the Indigenous Careers Award (ICA) will be included on your NAIT online scholarships and bursaries application.

To be considered for this award, please answer yes to the question "Do you want to apply for bursaries?" and complete the bursary questions page in as much detail as possible. You will also be asked to provide proof of your Indigenous ancestry. We encourage you to review the how to apply for student awards guide (pdf) before applying.

If you're an Aboriginal student, your education may be funded by a sponsor like your First Nation. We call this a third-party sponsorship. This can support you in covering the costs of tuition, books, supplies and living expenses while enrolled at NAIT.

Steps for accessing First Nation funding

To be considered for First Nations funding, follow the essential steps below and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete your application.

Step 1: Contact your First Nation’s Post-Secondary Education Department

You can use this interactive map or guide to indigenous organizations to find and contact your First Nation’s Post-Secondary Education department. If you have questions, you can also contact Indigenous Services Canada.

Step 2: Get your NAIT Confirmation of Enrolment

To obtain third-party funding from your First Nation, you will need to provide a letter that lists the overall cost of your education. There are 2 types of enrolment confirmations:

  • Proposed Confirmation of Enrolment Letter: a student has been been accepted into a NAIT program, but hasn’t registered in classes.
  • Confirmation of Enrolment Letter: a student has registered in their classes.

Please check with your funder to see which type of confirmation of enrolment they require. 

You can request a letter by submitting an online Contact Form. Select topic: Aboriginal Students, and subcategory: Proposed Confirmation of Enrollment Letter or Confirmation of Enrollment Letter.

Once you have received your confirmation letter, you will need to provide this to your third-party funder.

Step 3: Complete third-party sponsorship form

Once your funding is approved by your third-party funder, they will need to complete NAIT’s Third Party Sponsorship Form.

The student or sponsor then must email completed form and a purchase order or sponsorship letter on the organization’s letterhead to

  • In your email, please include the student's full name, Student ID Number and date of birth.

Please note that if your funding is delayed or you won’t have your funding before the tuition payment deadline, it is essential that you contact so we can make the necessary adjustments to ensure you are not dropped from your program.

Step 4: Continue to check your MyNAIT portal

You can see whether your funding confirmation has been completed on your MyNAIT portal. Simply select Open Self-Service, and select Tasks. If you have been approved for funding, you will see a ‘hold’ under your Holds & Funding.

Other funding opportunities

Rupertsland Institute Post-Secondary Education Funding

If you’re a Métis person with Métis Nation of Alberta citizenship, you may be eligible for financial assistance through Rupertsland Institute. To be eligible, students must also be members of the Rupertsland Métis Students Association.

After you apply for Rupertsland funding, you will require a specific Confirmation of Enrolment. To request this, please submit an online Contact Form. Select topic: Aboriginal Students, and subcategory: Confirmation of Enrollment Letter. In the inquiry details section, we encourage you to add a note stating that your request is for Rupertsland funding so the specific confirmation letter can be provided.

Apply for Rupertsland Institute funding 

Student Aid

If you require additional funding or there is a delay in your established funding, you can apply for Alberta student aid to help pay for the additional costs of your education. Please note that if you are receiving funding from third-party sponsorships, such as your First Nation, you must disclose this funding on your Alberta student aid application.

Learn more about student loans

Out of province funding

If you are receiving funding from another province, please notify us of your funding by completing an online Contact Form. Select topic: Aboriginal Students, and subcategory: Funding Forms. Out of province forms could include:

Third-party sponsorship

There are a variety of third-party sponsorship options available to you. Learn more about these options, including eligibility requirements, by checking out the following:

Aboriginal scholarships and awards

We encourage you to search all scholarships and bursaries available. You can also narrow your results by searching by category, such as Aboriginal Awards.

The Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre also has a list of external scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal students. We encourage you to contact the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre to be added to their student email list, which includes up-to-date information about external scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal students.

Tips for accessing Aboriginal funding

We want to support you as you navigate funding, so we’ve gathered some tips for you to keep in mind as you prepare:

  • Apply for funding early! Once you have received your program acceptance e-letter in your MyNAIT portal, we encourage you to connect with your third-party funder and apply for student aid so your funding is in place. It can take up to 4 weeks for funding to be processed.
  • There may be times when funding is delayed. If you are concerned about the timing of your funding, please email so the appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure you are not dropped from your program.
  • Ask for help! If you have any questions about funding or your journey at NAIT, please connect with us via the online Contact Form. Select the topic: Aboriginal Students.

Related resources

Aboriginal Applicants

As an Aboriginal student, if you meet the minimum entrance requirements for a program, you can gain admission to a NAIT program with a competitive entrance and/or program interview requirement.

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