Brandon, MB — A generous gift of $100,000 was recently donated by the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute to Brandon University. This donation will be matched with an equal amount from the Manitoba Scholarship & Bursary Initiative and will be added to the Louis Riel Scholarships & Bursaries Endowment.
Scholarships from this fund are awarded to entering or returning students who are Manitoba residents of Métis status who demonstrate academic potential. Bursaries are awarded to entering or returning students who are Manitoba residents of Métis status who demonstrate financial need and academic potential.
“ The MMF leadership has recognized for a long time that education is one of the keys to a better way of life for Métis people, and one of the reason Métis people didn’t have a postsecondary education came down to finances,” said Leah LaPlante, Vice-President MMF Southwest Region and the chair of the Louis Riel Institute. “We’ve been working very hard in the last ten years to change the way Métis people feel about postsecondary and make them believe that it is possible. We’ve tried to put some money behind that thought process.”
LaPlante encourages Métis students to apply for these new scholarships and bursaries. Though the amounts may seem negligible in the grand scheme of things, she has had enough feedback from previous recipients to know that they make an impact.
“As the chair of the Louis Riel Institute, I am the one who is fortunate enough to get the thank you cards from these students and I can tell you that it does make a difference,” LaPlante said. “I’ve received many letters telling me that it made the difference between staying in school and dropping out. There is a price tag to having a better education in our communities and this is our way of trying to help.”
Since 1999, the Manitoba Métis Federation’s Louis Riel Institute, the mandated authority responsible for Métis education and culture in Manitoba, has provided $1,038,500 in funding for this endowment. An additional $638,500 in matching funds has been provided by the Manitoba Scholarship & Bursary Initiative. Since that time, a total of $307,350 has been awarded to recipients.
“This very significant addition to the already established generous donations of funds for scholarships and bursaries for Manitoba Métis students attending Brandon University and is critical for the success of BU Manitoba Métis students. We are a proud partner with the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute in working for the successful study and graduation of Manitoba Métis people. Education is the future. These funds create possibilities for access and achievement.”
– 30 –
For more information, please contact:
Joanne F. Villeneuve
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9