A scholarship and bursary program for Indigenous students, set up with contributions from Unifor and CN, will help advance the academic outcomes of Indigenous post-secondary students across Canada.
The union and the railway will each contribute $125,000 to the program, with matching funds from the Federal Government of $230,000. Including an emergency fund of $20,000 funded by Unifor and CN, that’s a total of $480,000. The contribution was presented at Unifor’s recent Ontario Regional Council.
“Unifor is a social union, committed to helping make Canada a better place for all people. Issues such as Indigenous education and opportunities for Indigenous people are central to that goal,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.
Unifor represents approximately 4,000 CN employees. The contribution to Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries and Scholarship Program comes out of contract talks last year between Unifor and CN Rail, which included a provision for a jointly run fund that would focus on women and Aboriginal causes.
“The generous contribution of Unifor and CN will help Indigenous students overcome many of the barriers they face as they pursue post-secondary studies, especially lack of financial resources,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire.
Indspire’s program will use the money to provide bursaries of $2,500 to about 190 Indigenous students over the next two years. There will also be an emergency fund of $20,000 to help students with unexpected costs involved with their education – such as family or personal emergencies.