Indigenous Graduate Students

Indigenous Graduate Students come to Simon Fraser University from all across Turtle Island. We are honoured to be guests on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Kwikwetlem, Semiahmoo, and Katzie peoples, on whose traditional unceded territories Simon Fraser’s three campuses stand.

Featured Graduate Student

Indigenous Graduate Student Support

Denver Lynxleg (Anishinaabe/Scottish) is the Indigenous Graduate Student Programs Coordinator with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. She is on campus Mondays and Tuesdays to enhance current Indigenous graduate students' holistic academic path through mentorship, workshops, and as a resource connector and to support Indigenous undergraduate students’ transition into graduate studies.  

Learn more or book an appointment:

Monday and Tuesday
9:00 am—5:00 pm
AQ 6085, SFU Burnaby Campus

SFU Indigenous Graduate Student Awards

Below are two sources of funding through SFU that are specifically for Indigenous graduate students. For all of the awards and funding offered through SFU, please visit our Awards + Funding pages.

Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship (IGES)

The Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship is intended for students initiating a thesis based masters or PhD program who have Canadian citizenship and Indigenous ancestry. These awards are valued at $21,000 per annum for Indigenous doctoral students (4 years) and $18,000 per annum for Indigenous master’s (2 years). Students do not apply for this award - they must be nominated by the Graduate Program Chair of their new academic unit.

This award is by nomination only.

Terms of Reference

  1. The Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship is currently valued at $21,000 per annum for Indigenous doctoral students and $18,000 per annum for Indigenous master’s students. Tenure of the award is two years at the master’s level and four years at the doctoral level.
  2. To be eligible for consideration, a student must be planning to enter a thesis based masters or PhD program at Simon Fraser University.
  3. During tenure of the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship, the recipient must be registered full-time in a thesis based graduate program at Simon Fraser University.
  4.  The Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship is normally held during consecutive academic terms.  If a recipient registers “on leave” during tenure of their award, the award will be interrupted until the student is registered full-time and payments will be reinstated at that time. No deferment of award payments to future academic terms will be permitted, except under ‘extenuating’ conditions with the permission of the Chair of the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee (SGAAC).    
  5. The criteria for this award are:
    1. Canadian citizenship and Indigenous ancestry;
    2. a minimum entrance cgpa of 3.5;
    3. demonstrated academic excellence at the undergraduate level and, if applicable, at the graduate level;
    4. evidence of outstanding achievement with particular emphasis on intellectual ability, originality and ability in research.
  6. Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship recipients may accept scholarship support from other sources including SFU’s ‘private’ awards (derived from annual and endowed funds) provided they are consistent with SFU’s general funding policies. Recipients should be aware that some external awards may restrict students from holding a scholarship at the same time as the external award.
  7. There is no restriction on Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship recipients receiving income for work performed during tenure of the scholarship.
  8. Entering students who meet the criteria are eligible for consideration. Students must be nominated for the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship by the Graduate Program Chair of the academic unit to which the student will be admitted.
  9. Awards are made by the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee after a University-wide competition in which departmental nominations are considered.

Revised: February 2017 / GUSE006

Indigenous Graduate Travel Award

This award provides financial support for Indigenous graduate students for the travel component important to their research. Indigenous or “Aboriginal” is defined by Canada’s 1982 Constitution as people identified as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.

Deadlines to apply are November 30, April 15th and July 30th of every year.

Terms of Reference

  1. The purpose of the Indigenous Graduate Travel Award is to provide financial support for Indigenous graduate students for the travel component important to their research. Students can only apply for the Indigenous travel award once per academic year. Indigenous graduate students may apply for this fund before their travel to pay for costs in advance.
  2. To be eligible for this award, the following criteria must be met:
    1. This award is for Indigenous graduate students attending Simon Fraser University.
    2. Indigenous or “Aboriginal” is defined by Canada’s 1982 Constitution as people identified as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.
  3. Disbursements of up to $1000 each may be applied for in each academic year (starting September 1 of each year).
  4. The funds will be given out on a first come / first applied for basis. The fund will be considered used for the year when the $5,000 limit for the year has been reached. Once the total fund has been distributed for the year, a message will be sent out through the Indigenous graduate student listserv.
  5. Repeat applications will be allowed from year-to-year. Preference, however, will be given to students who have not yet received money from this fund (this is at the discretion of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies).
  6. Application includes:
    1. A completed budget which accounts for the requested amount;
    2. A letter of support from the applicant’s academic supervisor or a faculty member familiar with your work (to verify the student’s academic status, intent, and need).

Travel Report

Upon completion of travel, successful applicants will need to submit the following within two weeks to the Graduate Awards Assistant:

A concise Travel and Activity Report, written in language suitable for the general public. Contents and/or quotes from the report may be published in Graduate Studies promotional material. If you do not wish for your travel report to be published, please indicate so.

The following could be included in your report:

  • The activities that were carried out, in respect to how the travel contributed to your research and/or scholarly activities
  • Any unanticipated benefits derived from the travel, including those in relation to your current research objectives an/or to your general experience as a graduate student
  • Any special issues or problems you encountered
How to Apply →
  1. Read about the award to ensure you and your research travel/expenses are eligible.
  2. Search for the award in the Graduate Awards Application System. Deadlines to apply are November 30, April 15th and July 30th of every year.
  3. Students need to submit a travel report after completion of their travel.

SFU Indigenous Community Resources

The Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)

The ISC is a space on Burnaby campus for all current Indigenous students. The ISC website includes an events page which promotes workshops and cultural activities.

First Nations Student Association (FNSA)

The FNSA is an independent student-run organization for all self-identified Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Status/Non-Status (FNMI) students here at SFU. The FNSA is located in the First Nations Students Common Room and Study Room in TC 3108 and TC 3112, in the Rotunda. The rooms are for FNMI students to meet and socialize, and for quiet study. Join their email list to learn about upcoming events:

Indigenous Clinical Counselling Support

Counselling is confidential and provided at no cost for students currently enrolled at SFU.

Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE)

SAGE is a province-wide, inter-institutional, peer-support/faculty-mentoring educational program. The program supports Aboriginal students to make significant educational and social change using research, Indigenous knowledge, and community-oriented approaches. Non-Aboriginal graduate students engaged in Indigenous research are also encouraged to participate in SAGE. Join the SAGE listserv by emailing:

The Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP)

The OAP was established in 2009 with the mandate to take the lead on implementing the Aboriginal Strategic Plan at Simon Fraser University. The OAP also provides resources such as a directory of Aboriginal Contacts.

Indigenous Living Learning Community

Students in the Indigenous Living-Learning Community are able to live across Residence in building types that best fit their academic and personal needs. As a Canadian Indigenous student in this community you will connect with other Indigenous students and build community through peer support, mentorship and leadership development opportunities.

Newsletters: Stay Connected

Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) join the SAGE listserv by emailing the SAGE Indigenous Graduate Peer Mentor:

SFU’s Office for Aboriginal People’s Newsletter to learn more about SFU Indigenous-related events, announcements and important dates. Subscribe here.

Indigenous Mentorship Network of the Pacific Northwest Newsletter to learn more about the latest Indigenous-focused headlines, events and training, funding and job information, as well as resources and other unique opportunities. Subscribe here.

Indigenous Top Ten is a free biweekly publication designed to share breaking news, interesting research, best practices, and policy developments regarding First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education in Canada. Subscribe here.

Research and Knowledge Translation Resources

SFU's motto of Engaging the World means that we are committed to honouring all knowledge systems and working with our many communities. SFU graduate students develop valuable research which involves community members and benefits all partners involved in the work.

Teaching and Leadership

Indigenous leaders and educators come to SFU to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to benefit their communities. Indigenous students take classes in every Faculty at SFU. We have also developed the following programs specifically for Indigenous Peoples.