The Alberta government is providing new funds to help First Nations colleges overcome obstacles to ensure students benefit from online course delivery.

The government will provide each of Alberta’s five First Nations colleges with $100,000 in one-time funding for COVID-19 supports, for a total of $500,000.

The grant will address technology and Wi-Fi access, support online programming development and delivery, and assist with improved cleaning protocols to meet COVID-19 standards.

“We listened to the concerns raised by leaders of First Nations colleges in Alberta and we are pleased that we can provide this one-time funding to address some of those immediate challenges,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education. “First Nations colleges are cornerstones of their communities and we need to ensure they can continue to provide valuable and effective learning opportunities for their students, despite these unprecedented times.”

The five First Nations colleges in Alberta are as follows:

  • Maskwacis Cultural College
  • Old Sun Community College
  • Red Crow Community College
  • University nuhelot’i?ne thaiyots’i? nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills
  • Yellowhead Tribal College

“Like our fellow post-secondary institutions, we have been working to provide our students with a learning environment that’s safe and that also allows them to keep making progress toward their diplomas and degrees,” said Rachel Hertz Cobb, chief administrative officer of Yellowhead Tribal College. “This enhancement of the First Nations College Grant recognizes that PSE delivery under pandemic conditions asks extraordinary feats of small institutions like ours and goes a long way toward making it possible for us to meet our goals.”

Featured image credit: University of Alberta

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