Experiential Education Opportunities for Indigenous Students

“Your government recognizes the particular importance of experiential learning for Indigenous youth,” said Minister Roger Melanson on June 22nd, as he announced that 1.5 million dollars will be invested in experiential education opportunities for Indigenous students over the next three years.

Since this announcement, a lot has been done to ensure the funds are properly allocated. A working group has been formed to assist the Indigenous Experiential Education Coordinator decide how to allocate the funds. The working group consists of members from the Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Indigenous Student Coordinators from each of the four publicly funded universities (Mt. Allison, Université de Moncton, University of New Brunswick, and Saint Thomas University), First Nations Directors of Education, The Joint Economic Development Initiative, and a Wolastoqey Elder. The funds will be divided among the four accredited universities based on their Indigenous enrollment.

The Experiential Education Fund is designed to give students in non-STEM programs the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while in school, in order to be prepared to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. The Fund offers opportunity for students to receive a one-time bursary to help with costs during their longest internship, along with other financial incentives.

The Funding criteria for the Indigenous Experiential Education Program are as follows:

Student must:

  • be a registered full/part time student,

  • have proof of Indigenous status,

  • participate in meetings, surveys, focus groups/consultations including reflective submissions as required.

Partners must:

  • be operating in New Brunswick,

  • be willing and open to champion cultural sensitivity in the workplace,

  • demonstrate investment towards the success of the student’s placement,

  • provide adequate supervision, training and mentoring,

  • participate in surveys and focus groups/consultations as required.

The funding has three key areas:

  • Student/Employer opportunities,

  • Project based submissions by Institutions,

  • Indigenous culture and language initiative by institution.

The funding is designed to remove financial barriers for the student so that they can participate in the program. During their placement, students may qualify for more than one category of the following funding incentives: wage subsidy, moving expenses, living accommodations, damage deposits, travel costs, equipment, training, clothing, and daycare.

For more information on the Indigenous Experiential Education Fund and how to apply, contact the Indigenous Experiential Education Coordinator, Angel Ward, via email angel.ward@unb.ca or call 506 453-4840.


Riley Patles, Business Liaison for the Indigenous Labour Market Information project, will be a monthly contributor to the JEDI blog. From Metepenagiag First Nation, Riley graduated from St. Thomas University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016 then went on to complete her Bachelor of Education degree in 2017. Riley will be a link between industry and community in order to help serve the Indigenous workforce.