Indigenous Graduate Students

Supporting Indigenous Graduate Students

Permission to reproduce this figure was received from Dr. Michelle Pidgeon. Source: Archibald, J., Pidgeon, M., & Hawkey, C. (2009). Aboriginal transitions: Undergraduate to graduate studies. AT: U2G Phase I Final report. Unpublished Research Report. University of British Columbia.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is located on the ancestral, traditional and unceded territory referred to in Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) as Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten – (Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby, BC). We respectfully acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples on whose unceded traditional territories our three campuses reside.

Congratulations on being accepted to graduate school at Simon Fraser University! We look forward to supporting you on your research journey.

In addition to the resources available to all graduate students found under our Awards & Funding, Graduate Students, Community Guide, Professional Development, and News and Events sections of our website, we have collated additional support (including scholarships) available specifically for Indigenous graduate students.

Want to Speak with Someone?

Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian (Secwepemc & Syilx Nations)
Associate Director, Indigenous Policy & Pedagogy
Email:| Phone: 778-782-3859
Learn more about Dorothy on People of SFU

Denver Lynxleg (Anishinaabe, she/her)
Indigenous Graduate Programs Coordinator

Indigenous Graduate Community Resources

SFU Indigenous Student Services

SFU Indigenous Student Services is a space on Burnaby campus for all current Indigenous students. Their website includes an events page which promotes workshops and cultural activities.

Learn more

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. 

Learn more

Indigenous Mentorship of the Pacific Northwest (IMN-PN)

The IMN-PN s a network of Indigenous and allied students, researchers, academics, professionals and communities across British Columbia and the Yukon. Mentors and Mentees have expertise and experience in Indigenous wellness research.

Learn more

SFU 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.

Learn more

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. Join their email list to learn about upcoming events:

Learn more

Indigenous Living Learn 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.

Learn more

Third-Party Billing or Sponsorships

To manage your third-party sponsorships at SFU, please contact Student Accounts through SFU Student Services:

Indigenous Graduate 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)

By Nomination Only | Approx. Award Value: TBD

Various Programs
The Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship is intended for students initiating a thesis based masters or PhD program who have Canadian citizenship and Indigenous ancestry. Students do not apply for this award - they must be nominated by the Graduate Program Chair of their new academic unit.

Learn more about this award →

Terms of Reference

  1. Tenure for the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship (IGES) is two years at the master’s level and four years at the doctoral level. There is one award available at the master’s level and one at the doctoral level.
  2. To be eligible, the Indigenous student must be entering a thesis-based master’s or PhD program at Simon Fraser University.
  3. Students must be nominated for the award by the Graduate Program Chair of the academic unit to which the student will be admitted.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship recipients may accept scholarship support from other sources including SFU’s ‘donor funded/private’ awards. Recipients should be aware that some external awards may have restrictions on funding.
  8. There is no restriction on Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship recipients receiving income for work performed during tenure of the scholarship.
  9. Awards are made by the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee after a University-wide competition in which departmental nominations are considered.

Revised: June 2021 / 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 30th, April 15th and July 30th of every year.
Learn More about this Award

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.


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Indigenous Research, Teaching, + Leadership Resources

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.